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Airing 2020 election grievances, Trump appears in first TV ad for Georgia gubernatorial hopeful David Perdue

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), left, joins President Donald Trump onstage during a rally, when they were still in office, on Dec. 5, 2020, in Valdosta, Ga. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Donald Trump speaks directly to the camera in the first television ad aired by Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue, underscoring how much that race centers on the former president and his grievances about the 2020 election.

The 30-second spot, which debuted Tuesday, opens with “a message from President Trump” in which Trump excoriates the state’s incumbent Republican governor, Brian Kemp, for not intervening to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election victory in Georgia.

“The Democrats walked all over Brian Kemp,” says Trump, who is flanked by a pair of American flags. “He was afraid of Stacey ‘The Hoax’ Abrams. Brian Kemp let us down. We can’t let it happen again.”

Perdue, who is trying to unseat Kemp in the GOP gubernatorial primary, does not speak in the ad but appears alongside Trump in several images.

Trump later offers his endorsement of Perdue, a former U.S. senator who was defeated by Democrat Jon Ossoff in a runoff in January 2021. Some Republicans blamed Perdue’s loss as a senator on Trump’s fixation on his 2020 election defeat.

“David Perdue is an outstanding man,” Trump says. “He’s tough. He’s smart. He has my complete and total endorsement.”

How Trump pushed Perdue into the Georgia governor's race, kicking off a bitter GOP fight

Abrams, a voting rights activist, is now seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in the hope of a rematch against Kemp, to whom she lost narrowly in 2018.

The words “Stop Stacey” appear toward the end of Perdue’s ad as Trump continues to speak.

At another point, the narrator emphasizes that Perdue is the only Georgia gubernatorial candidate backed by Trump.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Perdue campaign is spending at least $150,000 on the ad.

Trump heavily lobbied Perdue to challenge Kemp, a move that ensured that Trump’s false claims that the 2020 vote was stolen from him would continue to be heard in Georgia.

The Georgia Democratic Party seized on the new ad Tuesday, criticizing if for not addressing “crucial issues” facing voters, such as health care and education.

“Every day that Kemp and Perdue continue their petty fights, it becomes clearer that they’re more concerned with tearing each other down than offering solutions to improve Georgians’ lives,” Max Flugrath, a party spokesman, said in a statement. “This election isn’t about Donald Trump — it’s about building a united Georgia where everyone has an opportunity to prosper.”