UPDATE (CBS46) — Former Sen. David Perdue has officially announced his bid for governor of Georgia via social media, setting the stage for a nasty primary election in an already divided Republican party in the state.

In a video message posted to Twitter, Perdue said he's running for governor to stop Stacey Abrams from securing the seat. Last week, Abrams announced her intention to run for governor of Georgia on the Democratic ticket in the 2022 election.

In his announcement, Perdue took a jab at current Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a former ally who will now be his opponent in the 2022 Republican primary election.

“Look, I like Brian," Perdue said. "This isn’t personal. It’s simple. He has failed all of us and cannot win in November. Instead of protecting our elections, he caved to Abrams and cost us two Senate seats, the Senate majority, and gave Joe Biden free reign.” 

Republican strategist Brian Robinson told CBS46 on Monday that Perdue's announcement lays down the dividing line in this race for the party.

"And that is, ‘Do you think Brian Kemp did enough about the 2020 election?’” 

Perdue, a cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, has the support of former President Donald Trump.

Robinson said Perdue is setting his sights on Georgia Republicans who vote in primary elections – some of the most conservative voters in the country.

He said the announcement could have a huge impact on Kemp’s fundraising.

“A lot of Kemp’s donors are Perdue donors," Robinson said. "They’re going after the same people. Their networks are the same people. Those people now have to choose, so that does reduce Brian Kemp’s pool to some degree.” 

Robinson said there's no question, this will be the most watch race in the country, one that could further fracture the state Republican party.

“This is going to be a very emotional campaign," he said. "It’s going to be nasty, and it’s going to be destructive. I will tell you, there will be a lot of personal relationships that will never mend after this year. It will be that bad.”

Former President Trump issued the following statement:

trump statement perdue

Georgia's Republican Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan defended Kemp on CNN Monday while blasting Perdue's decision to run. 

“It appears early on he will try to carry Donald Trump's water on the conspiracy stuff," Duncan said of Perdue. "That seems to be the only tail wind he's got."

Duncan, who is not seeking a second term, said Trump’s involvement in Georgia’s governor’s race will further divide the already fractured state Republican party.

“We don't need the traveling circus of Donald Trump to stay here in Georgia," Duncan said. "We need it stay in Mar-a-Lago, work on his handicap playing golf and to let us be conservatives here in Georgia and move forward."

Original article continues below.

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -- CBS46 political sources confirm another candidate will be added to Georgia's Gubernatorial race Monday. Former Sen. David Perdue, is set to announce a primary bid for governor this week.

The anticipated announcement means Perdue plans to take on current Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in the 2022 Republican primary.

Gov. Kemp sent a statement to CBS News saying: 

The man who lost Republicans the United States Senate and brought the last year of skyrocketing inflation, open borders, runaway government spending, and woke cancel culture upon the American people now wants to lose the Georgia governor’s office to the national face of the radical left movement. It may be difficult for David Perdue to see this over the gates of his coastal estate, but Joe Biden’s dangerous agenda is hitting hardworking Georgians in the wallet and endangering their livelihoods - and we all have David Perdue to thank for it.“Perdue’s only reason for running is to soothe his own bruised ego, because his campaign for U.S Senate failed to inspire voters at the ballot box - twice. Governor Kemp has a proven track record of fighting the radical left to put hardworking Georgians first, while Perdue is best known for ducking debates, padding his stock portfolio during a pandemic, and losing winnable races.

Sources said, Perdue, who was backed by former President Donald Trump, intends to make his announcement Monday via video while also filing his official paperwork.

The decision comes days after Democrat, Stacey Abrams, announced she would run for governor for a second time.

Once the bid is official, Perdue would also face Republican Vernon Jones, who said the following Sunday evening: 

Are we sure this is not a veil attempt to cover Kemp’s flank? In addition to introducing Gov. Kemp at the 2021 Georgia GOP convention, Perdue recently proclaimed we already have a Republican Governor The Brunswick News. These are two peas in a pod!" I’m the only candidate for Governor who has called for the elimination of state income taxes, a forensic audit of all 159 counties, didn’t abandon President Trump or his America/Georgia first agenda, and can defeat the socialist Stacey Abrams in the general election.

Perdue served in the U.S. Senate from 2015 to 2021.

He was defeated by Sen. Jon Ossoff in the January 2020 runoff electiion.

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