Trump Chooses Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue for Agriculture Secretary

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue / AP
January 18, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday chose former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve as secretary of agriculture in his administration, according to transition officials and media reports.

The announcement fills the last of the remaining positions in Trump's Cabinet.

The nomination of Perdue could be officially announced as soon as Thursday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Perdue, 70, had emerged as Trump's leading contender to run the agriculture department in recent days, and he is said to have impressed the New York businessman with his experience in public office and in the private sector.

The announcement could come as soon as Thursday.

Perdue becomes the second Georgian selected to join Trump's Cabinet after U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell was tapped as health secretary.

Perdue became the governor of Georgia in 2002, which made him the first Republican to hold the governorship in the state since Reconstruction. He was previously a state senator in Georgia, first serving as a Democrat until switching parties in 1998. During his time in the state Senate, Perdue helped craft agricultural policy for Georgia.

If confirmed by the Senate to head the Department of Agriculture, Perdue would oversee a budget totaling $150 billion, making it one of the largest federal agencies. The secretary of agriculture is responsible for implementing federal policy regarding farming, forestry, and food.

Perdue interviewed with Trump for the Cabinet-level position near the end of November at Trump Tower.

"He asked me what my skills sets were and I told him what they were, aside from having been governor, as a business person and primarily in agricultural commodities, trading domestically and internationally," Perdue said of the meeting with Trump.

During the 2016 election, Perdue initially supported a variety of other Republican candidates but eventually endorsed and campaigned for Trump during the general election. Perdue served as an adviser to Trump on his agriculture advisory board during the campaign.

Published under: Trump Administration