Still, Republicans cast her decision as the latest in a string of big-name Democrats who have passed on the race, a list that includes Stacey Abrams, the 2018 gubernatorial nominee, and U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, who flipped a suburban Atlanta district last year.
“The Peach State will decide control of the Senate in 2020, but Democrats appear to be stuck with a weak crop of candidates, none of whom are capable of winning either of Georgia’s Senate seats,” said John Burke, head of the pro-Perdue Georgia Action Fund.
More: Georgia Democrats maneuver amid awkward Senate waiting game
More: US Senate: Who has applied for Johnny Isakson's Georgia seat
The potential contenders for Isakson’s seat include DeKalb chief executive Michael Thurmond, former U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver, DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and state Sens. Jen Jordan and Nikema Williams.
Former educator Matt Lieberman, the son of ex-U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, has also entered the race without support from the national or state party. Gov. Brian Kemp has yet to appoint a successor to Isakson, though hundreds have applied.
As a first-time Democratic candidate with a long history in the nonprofit world, Nunn surprised many with her fund-raising ability in the 2014 race. Since losing to Perdue by an 8-point margin, though, she largely retreated from politics.
Nunn’s allies, who include many associates of her father, former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, circulated word that she was interested in a 2020 bid shortly after Isakson announced he would step down. They presented her as an appealing choice to middle-of-the-road voters tired of President Donald Trump.
But some party leaders quickly soured on the idea, saying that her moderate message and arm's length approach to President Barack Obama wouldn't fly in a 2020 campaign that's being shaped by the party's move to the left.