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Sen. David Perdue and challenger Jon Ossoff. Photos: Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Georgia's final Senate debate between Sen. David Perdue (R) and Democrat Jon Ossoff was canceled Thursday, after the Republican senator pulled out of Sunday's scheduled event so he could instead rally with President Trump, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Why it matters: The race between Perdue and Ossoff could prove pivotal in determining which party controls the U.S. Senate. Cook Political Report rates the race as a "Toss-up."

What they're saying: "Senator Perdue just cancelled our final debate," Ossoff tweeted Thursday.

  • "At last night's debate, millions saw that Perdue had no answers when I called him out on his record of blatant corruption, widespread disease, and economic devastation. Shame on you, Senator."

The other side: Perdue will instead join Trump for a campaign rally in Rome, his spokesperson John Burke told AJC.

  • “As lovely as another debate listening to Jon Ossoff lie to the people of Georgia sounds, Senator Perdue will not be participating,” Burke added in a statement to local media.
  • The rally has yet to be formally announced by the president's campaign.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.

Scoop: Stephanie Murphy announcing challenge to Marco Rubio

Rep. Stephanie Murphy. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy is planning to announce a campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in early June, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Murphy is a proven fundraiser. Jumping in now would give her an early start to build her case for the Democratic nomination and potentially force Rubio and allied GOP groups to spend heavily to retain a seat in a state that’s trending Republican.

47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inside the GOP's infrastructure strategy

Sen. Roger Wicker. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top Republican senators are hoping the White House will make some sort of counteroffer to their infrastructure proposal when they meet with President Biden on Thursday, lawmakers and their aides tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is a sign of how serious the negotiations are, they say. In advance of the meeting, some of the senators are already publicly signaling the areas in which they have flexibility.