GOP Sen. David Perdue won't debate Democratic challenger ahead of run-off election

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Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) will not debate his Democratic challenger, Jon Ossoff, before the Jan. 5 run-off election for his seat.

The Atlanta Press Club extended an invitation to Perdue and Ossoff to debate on Dec. 6, and while Ossoff accepted, Perdue declined, CNN reports. Ossoff was quick to call Perdue out, tweeting that he was "too much of a coward to debate me again," adding that Perdue "can't defend his lies about COVID-19, self-dealing stock trades, his bigotry, or his votes to take away Georgians' health care. Senator, come on out and try to defend your record. I'm ready to go."

Perdue and Ossoff are facing off again in a runoff race because neither one was able to receive 50 percent of the vote on Election Day. Perdue campaign manager Ben Fry told CNN that the senator had "a commanding first place win, outpacing Ossoff by over 85,000 votes — in nearly every other state, Perdue would have been re-elected already."

Before the Nov. 3 election, Perdue and Ossoff had a testy debate, during which Ossoff said it's possible "Perdue would have been able to respond properly to the COVID-19 pandemic if you hadn't been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading. It's not just that you're a crook, senator, it's that you're attacking the health of the people that you represent." Perdue skipped the next debate, the final one before Election Day, to appear at a campaign rally with President Trump.

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