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Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Former Senator David Perdue plans to announce a primary challenge against Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday, according to a source familiar with Perdue's thinking.

Why it matters: Perdue's challenge to his former ally Kemp sets up an unprecedented "scorched earth" battle between Georgia Republicans fueled by former President Donald Trump, in the battleground state. The news was first reported by Politico.

  • The news comes days after former Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams announced her second bid for the seat.
  • Two people familiar with the discussions told Axios’ Jonathan Swan that Trump signaled to Perdue weeks ago that if he ran, he could expect an endorsement from the former president.

Catch up quick: Since Kemp resisted Trump's pressure to overturn the state's 2020 election results, Trump has pledged to campaign against the incumbent governor he endorsed in 2018 and has been encouraging Perdue to challenge Kemp.

  • Biden won Georgia in 2020 by a little over 12,000 votes. Republicans also lost both Senate seats to Democrats: Perdue was defeated by Jon Ossoff, and Raphael Warnock beat Kelly Loeffler.
  • Trump openly asked Perdue if he planned to run against Kemp at a September rally in Perry, Georgia.

The irony is that Trump has said that it was David Perdue and his cousin, former agriculture secretary and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who convinced him to endorse Kemp in his 2018 Republican primary.

What they're saying: “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," said Cody Hall, Kemp's director of communications and senior adviser.

"Governor Kemp has a proven track record of fighting the radical left to put hard-working Georgians first, while Perdue is best known for ducking debates, padding his stock portfolio during a pandemic and losing winnable races."

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called Perdue "the one figure who could unify Georgia and the one person who could beat Stacey Abrams."

What’s next: “Kemp and Perdue have overlapping bases and donors in many ways, so personal relationships are more important than ever,” said Republican Georgia strategist Brian Robinson. Who was nice or responsive to whom “all of a sudden matters a great deal.”

Go deeper

Trump calls McConnell a "loser" before hanging up on NPR host

Photos: Saul Loeb, Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump abruptly cut short an interview with NPR on Tuesday after being pressed about his false, baseless claims of election fraud in 2020 and lambasting Republicans who have spoken out against them.

Why it matters: The interview once again highlights the extent to which Trump is willing to turn against members of his own party if they do not back his unsupported claims.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.