Georgia's Sonny Perdue is Trump's Choice for Agriculture Secretary

By Craig Johnson

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ATLANTA, Patch, January 19, 2017 | comments

ATLANTA, GA -- Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has been tapped for agriculture secretary in President-Elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet, the president-elect announced Thursday.

The appointment, which still must be approved by the Senate, seals all the positions in the Trump Cabinet just 48 hours before Friday's inauguration.

"Sonny Perdue is going to accomplish great things as Secretary of Agriculture," Trump said Thursday in a news release. "From growing up on a farm to being governor of a big agriculture state, he has spent his whole life understanding and solving the challenges our farmers face, he's going to deliver big results for all Americans who earn their living off the land."

Perdue, a veterinarian by occupation, got into politics as a state senator in 1991. The 70-year-old served as Georgia’s governor in 2003 to 2011.

Perdue’s administration presided over a divisive flag referendum in 2004, opting to let Georgians chose either a modified version of the state's historic flag or a more modern one championed by the previous administration.

Georgia's Republicans voiced strong support for Perdue's new position.

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter said: "As a two-term Governor of Georgia, Sonny has already proven himself to be a strong leader who will fight to ensure the agriculture industry is able to accomplish their important work. The hard work of our farmers, ranchers, and producers is critical to the production of the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world and I look forward to working with former Governor Perdue to ensure Washington doesn’t stand in their way.”

U.S. Rep. Rick Allen said: "“From the farm he grew up on in Perry, Georgia to his service in the U.S. Air Force, veterinary and agribusiness career, and later Governor of Georgia, Sonny Perdue makes an excellent and obvious choice for the next Secretary of Agriculture."

Perdue had been eyed for the agriculture secretary post for several weeks, with sources telling local media in December that he was a “leading candidate.”

Perdue's cousin, Georgia Sen. David Perdue congratulated the former governor on Facebook and Twitter.

"I could not be more proud of my cousin, Sonny, for being named the next Secretary of Agriculture. Sonny’s executive experience as a two-term Governor of Georgia, the first Republican in 135 years, as well as his veterinary background and agribusiness career, are a few of the many reasons he is the best person for the job," he said.

During Trump's presidential campaign, Perdue served on his agricultural advisory committee.

Perdue is the second Georgian added to Trump's inner circle: Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Price, a doctor in Roswell, was tapped earlier as health and human services secretary.

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