David Perdue is on an electoral winning streak, one that he hopes will extend to November’s midterm elections.
The former chairman and CEO of Dollar General barely edged out longtime U.S. representative Jack Kingston to win the GOP Senate nomination in Georgia in Tuesday’s run-off primary. The race was neck-and-neck most of the night, before breaking for Perdue, who finished with 51 percent of the vote. Observers expected the race to be close but most polls had given Kingston a slight lead in recent weeks.
Perdue also topped Kingston in May’s crowded, seven-person primary, where both advanced as the two leading vote-getters; Perdue received 31 percent of the vote to Kingston’s 26 in that primary. Throughout the campaign, Perdue, a first-time candidate and cousin of former Georgia governor Sonny, positioned himself as a Washington outsider.
Kingston has represented Georgia’s first congressional district since 1993, and was endorsed by several prominent politicians and personalities, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Rifle Association.
Perdue will advance to face Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, CEO of nonprofit Points of Light and daughter of longtime Democratic senator Sam Nunn, in November’s election. While Georgia is a Republican-leaning state, some project Nunn’s name recognition could make the race more competitive than many initially considered it to be.