David Perdue files paperwork for potential 2022 Senate run

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., arrives to speak before Vice President Mike Pence during a "Save the Majority" rally on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Former Georgia Sen. David Perdue filed campaign paperwork Monday, opening up the potential for the recently defeated Republican to run against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in 2022.

Perdue, 71, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, an early step toward a possible bid to return to Washington.

Perdue lost his reelection bid during a closely watched runoff last month against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Ossoff’s win, along with Warnock’s victory over Sen. Kelly Loeffler, resulted in Democrats taking control of the Senate for the first time since 2011.

Video: Historic wins top control of U.S. Senate to Democrats

Unlike Ossoff, who will not be up for reelection until 2026, Warnock's term expires in two years. That’s because Warnock is filling the remainder of retired Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.

Warnock, who served as pastor for the same Atlanta church where civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, is Georgia's first African American senator.

Perdue is a former business executive who was elected in 2014. He was one of President Donald Trump’s chief defenders in the Senate and fell just short of the 50% threshold he needed to defeat Ossoff outright on Nov. 3.