David Perdue, who was meeting with voters in northwest Georgia where Donald Trump is still popular, intoned his belief that the elections of 2020 and 2021 were stolen from him.

Perdue stated, “First and foremost, it was stolen.” “The facts are coming out.”

Perdue went to the storefront of another group that espouses similar election falsities after the rally ended. Perdue uploaded a photo to his Facebook page showing him beaming while the group’s founder talks under a banner declaring that “a legal vote requires law.”

This is a reminder of the extreme rightward drift Perdue has made in advance of the primary against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. He has evolved from being a conservative businessman who won a U.S. Senate spot in 2014, focusing on federal spending, to a hard-liner who associates himself with conspiracy theorists.

This is consistent with Trump’s larger shifts in Republican Party. Some Republicans warn that focusing on the past will not help Georgia’s general election win. Georgia is a state where moderate voters are critical.

Eric Tanenblatt, ex-chief of staff to the ex-Georgia Republican Governor, said that “I believe David Perdue had broad appeal in 2014.” Sonny Perdue, a former fundraiser for David Perdue, is supporting Kemp in the primary. “I thought he was more relatable because his talk was about issues that were more appealing to the wider electorate.”

Perdue, who was personally invited by Trump to run for the race in retribution against Kemp’s lying election, is trailing the May 24 primary. A Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll published Tuesday showed that Kemp led Perdue 53% compared to 27% among likely voter. Although it’s a significant margin, Kemp barely makes it above the threshold of 50% he needs to avoid a runoff.

Perdue, who was the former chief executive at Dollar General and Reebok, insists that he hasn’t changed while he looks to the governor’s mansion.

Perdue stated in Ringgold, “Even in Senate, I was an outcast.” Trust me, I was never a member of the good ol’ boys club up there.

Perdue’s main focus is still on Perdue’s claims that the 2020 Georgia presidential election and 2021 Senate race, in which Perdue lost against Democrat Jon Ossoff were fraudulently won. Perdue’s and Trump’s claims about mass voter fraud have been supported by no credible evidence. Trump’s attorney general, as well as federal and state election officials, have all said that the election was fair. The allegations of the former president were also rejected by the courts, including the Trump-appointed judges.

spoke about his lawsuit to unseal physical ballots to be examined in Atlanta’s Fulton County. He made allegations without any evidence that poll workers received bribes or were paid to collect and deliver illegally.

Perdue inquired, suggesting that Perdue was asking about the question in his lawsuit.

Perdue channeled some of the same businessman/outsider themes as Trump two years later. He was subtler, presenting himself to voters with a “different kind of person” who cared the most about reforming federal spending.

Perdue was not the most conservative choice in 2014. He defeated Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate he won the primary against. This was a nod towards a bipartisanship that is in fashion among hardcore partisans.

Perdue was a conservative senator, but he did have the ability to reach across the aisle at times. Perdue sought to reduce school shootings through promoting safer campus security and safety practices. Perdue, who was locked in a race with Ossoff in December 2020 for additional COVID-19 relief of $900 billion, offended conservatives.

Perdue never hesitated to play to the far right. Perdue asked an evangelical Christian audience to pray in 2016 for President Barack Obama. He cited a psalm calling for revenge on God’s enemies: “Let his days become few and let another have the office.” Perdue denied that he intended any harm.

Perdue today blames Georgia’s inflation, high gas prices and immigration for the failure of Kemp to stop Democrats winning in Georgia. Perdue warns that he is the only person who can get Trump voters to the polls to defeat Democrat Stacey Abrams. He also stated that a Republican could lose 2024 in Georgia if there is no Republican control.

Perdue stated, “You cannot win the presidency, a Republican won’t win without Georgia.” “And if Stacey Abrams is elected governor, no Republican will win this state as president. Trust me.”

Perdue spoke to Catoosa County Republicans. Perdue and his wife then drove the 3 miles (4.8 km) to VoterGA. They were wedged between a Dollar Tree and a discount grocery. VoterGA has been protesting Georgia’s election system since its inception. They have even filed a failed suit to invalidate a previous generation electronic voting machine. Trump’s insistence on fraud claims has made Garland Favorito, co-founder of VoterGA, a prominent figure.

Favorito also questioned an official version of the September 11, 2001, attacks, and the assassination attempt on President John F. Kennedy. He claims that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrongly covered up the 1993 murder of Vince Foster (a lawyer for former President Bill Clinton).

Perdue’s support for VoterGA may cause problems in a Georgia general election, but primary voters love his stances. Bonnie Evans, a Fort Oglethorpe resident, said that Perdue’s promises of strengthening the state police force and cracking down on illegal immigrants were admirable.

Evans stated, “I’m a 100% to him.” Evans said, “I was around 80% for him when he came in. He has common sense, I believe. He is not a career politician.”

Perdue is also aligned with other proposals that divide Republicans. Trump and Perdue want Atlanta’s Buckhead, a wealthy, white-majority neighborhood, to be able to vote on secession from the Blacker, less developed remainder of Atlanta. The people who support a divorce claim in Atlanta won’t be able reduce violent crime. However, was defeated in the state legislature this year due to opposition from business groups.

Rivian Automotive, Irvine, California, announced a $5Billion, 7,500-jobs electric truck plant east of Atlanta. Residents protest the plant’s impact on their rural quality-of-life and for the lack of consultation. Perdue blames “RINO Brian Kemp”,, for a secret backroom deal for “a scheme to give away hundreds and millions of tax dollars to a company controlled by liberal billionaire George Soros.”

These claims are exaggerated. Rivian selected Georgia at the same time that Soros bought shares worth $2 billion. However, Soros only owns 2% of Rivian so there is no evidence that he was involved in the announcement. Although the deal is more secretive than other Georgia incentive deals, it’s not any less secretive.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, misinformation about Soros is a key element of antisemitic activity.

Perdue’s disconnection from certain parts of the business community is evident in his attacks on Rivian. Georgia Chamber of Commerce, who endorsed Perdue 2020 and has endorsed Kemp in 2018, stated in February that Rivian‘s criticisms were “counterproductive and harmful to long-term economic prosperity in our communities.”

Despite all the criticism, polling problems and fundraising difficulties Perdue insists that he can win.

Perdue stated that “it’s right there in our hands,” to the Ringgold group. “If we all vote, we have the numbers.”