Jon Ossoff, the Democrat vying for a Senate seat in Georgia, said Thursday his GOP competitor, Sen. David Perdue, had canceled their final debate before next week’s election after the pair exchanged heated attacks a day before.
“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,” Ossoff wrote on Twitter.
HuffPost has reached out to Perdue’s campaign for comment.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the debate, scheduled for next Sunday, was canceled after President Donald Trump planned to hold a campaign rally in the state that day. Perdue will join the president at that event instead, his campaign told the publication.
Ossoff and Perdue are neck-and-neck in the polls, although the race could lead to a runoff if neither candidate wins 50% of the vote.
The pair lobbed barbs at each other during their second debate in Savannah on Wednesday. Ossoff called Perdue a “crook” and accused him of undermining Georgians’ health care, while the senator incorrectly attacked the Democrat as a radical who supported the Green New Deal and backed “socialized medicine” (both claims are false).
“It’s not just that you’re a crook, Senator,” Ossoff told Perdue during one moment in the debate, pointing to a bevy of stock trades Perdue made early in the COVID-19 pandemic after lawmakers received a closed-door briefing on the crisis. “It’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent. You did say COVID-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases. All the while, you were looking after your own assets and your own portfolio.”
Perdue was one of several senators from both parties to come under fire over shady financial transactions. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in April he made at least 112 transactions, including 76 stock purchases, that cost him as much as $1.8 million in March, including in a company that makes medical gear.
Perdue’s campaign has said he was cleared of wrongdoing.
Ossoff’s bid for the senate seat has become a potential lynchpin of Democratic hopes to retake the chamber. Money has flowed into the state, and the 33-year-old brought in more than $21 million in the third quarter of 2020. Perdue raised about $5.6 million during that period.