Likewise, Democrat Raphael Warnock issued a separate challenge to Republican Kelly Loeffler at three televised debates, including one at the Atlanta Press Club, also on December 6.
The Ossoff-Perdue race and Warnock-Loeffler match will determine whether Republicans or Democrats lead the Senate after Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Democrats must win both seats to split the Senate 50-50 and give Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the deciding vote. Georgia has not elected a Democratic senator since 1996, but Democratic President-elect Joe Biden narrowly leads President Donald Trump from 49.5% to 49.2% in the recent presidential election. A recount is in progress.
Perdue’s campaign manager Ben Fry said in a statement there had already been two debates in the Georgia Senate race, before the first ballot on November 3.
” In each [debate], Ossoff has lied several times… If Ossoff wants to continue lying to Georgians on television, he will have to use his out-of-state money to pay it, ”Fry said.
There was no immediate response from Loeffler’s campaign.
Ossoff and Warnock appeared together on Sunday for the first time in the second round of the campaign, urging voters to return to the polls just two months after the presidential election. Both men have come under attack from their Republican opponents and Democrats are expected to step up their joint campaign efforts.
Their campaigns focus on healthcare, helping COVID-19 and the Republicans’ response to the pandemic. Perdue and Loeffler’s campaigns, meanwhile, accuse Warnock and Ossoff of pursuing “socialist” policies on climate change and health.
At Sunday’s event in Marietta, Ossoff called Perdue for turning down the Atlanta Press Club debate. “Imagine being a sitting US senator, too cowardly to debate your opponent in public,” Ossoff said.
Warnock, meanwhile, stressed the importance of returning voters to the polls a second time to support Democrats, saying he spoke to a woman who voted for him on November 3 and who “had no idea that she had to go back ”.
The Atlanta Press Club said in a statement that Perdue declined to participate in the Dec. 6 debate, but Ossoff confirmed, “We will continue the debate and Senator Perdue will be represented by an empty podium.”