ATLANTA (AP) - A third Georgia Democrat jumped into the race to challenge Republican Sen. David Perdue on Tuesday for a seat that could help dictate the fate of the Senate in 2020.
Business executive and 2018 candidate for Georgia lieutenant governor Sarah Riggs Amico announced her candidacy with a campaign video taking aim at Perdue's close ties to President Donald Trump.
"Senator David Perdue and Republican leaders in Washington have failed Georgia families and communities: from farmers suffering under the GOP-led trade war, to the families at risk of losing their healthcare as Republicans try to dismantle the Affordable Care Act," Amico said in a statement.
Perdue, a former business executive, has emerged as a close ally of President Donald Trump since his election in 2014 and has been closely aligned with the administration on issues ranging from immigration to trade.
Amico's announcement comes just weeks after the auto transportation company she is executive chairwoman of filed for bankruptcy, citing unsustainable labor costs compared to its non-unionized competitors. She said the experience spurred her to run and to make fighting for workers a core tenant of her campaign.
During a speech before a group of striking telecommunication workers in Atlanta on Tuesday, Amico called Perdue one of Trump's "chief enablers" and slammed the Trump administration's escalating trade war with China.
"You see this trade war that the Republicans in Washington have forced on our people, on our farmers here in Georgia, here is the simple truth that none of them are going to tell you: Nobody wins a trade war, but the workers always lose it."
The 40 year-old Amico joins former Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Clarkston mayor Ted Terry seeking the Democratic nomination.
The field began to form after former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor, Stacey Abrams, announced in April that she would not run for the seat after being heavily recruited by Democratic Senate leadership.
Amico gained notoriety during her bid for lieutenant governor last year, losing to Republican Geoff Duncan amid an inexplicably large drop in votes compared to other statewide races that election integrity advocates blamed on Georgia's unauditable and outdated voting machines.
National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Nathan Brand called Amico a "failed business executive" in an emailed statement and touted Perdue's "positive record of delivering results for all of Georgia."