For a man whose resume is littered with high-profile jobs – CEO of Reebok and Dollar General; a senior executive for Sara Lee foods and Haggar clothing; Georgia senator; former President Donald Trump’s chosen gubernatorial candidate – Perdue is not yet an instantly recognizable figure with many Georgia voters. Yet his brand is growing as the Georgia governor’s race heats up.
Open letter to David Perdue:Your run for Georgia governor is a crusade against ‘rule of law’
Web analytics data shows a surge in searches for basic information about Perdue as the Republican primary approaches, with queries about everything from his family background to his height. Early voting for the election opened May 2, and Election Day is May 24.
Here’s what to know about Perdue.
How is David Perdue related to Sonny Perdue?
David and Sonny Perdue are first cousins, descendants of George Perdue, their grandfather. Sonny Perdue is three years older than David and preceded his cousin in politics. Sonny first won office in 1991 as a Democrat in the Georgia Senate. He changed parties in 1998.
Sonny Perdue won the 2002 Georgia governor’s race, defeating the incumbent, Democrat Roy Barnes, to become the state’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction. He served two terms, leaving office in 2010. He joined the Trump presidential administration in 2016 as agriculture secretary and served in that role for four years
He was recently named chancellor of the University System of Georgia.
David Perdue’s background in Georgia politics
Perdue spent much of his professional life in corporate America. His first public sector-related work came as a director of the Georgia Ports Authority. He was appointed to the post by Sonny Perdue, then Georgia’s governor, and held the post for more than three years.
Perdue launched his political career ahead of the 2014 election, running for the U.S. Senate. He narrowly won the Republican primary, edging out longtime U.S. Congressman Jack Kingston in a runoff by less than 2% of the vote. He won the general election later that year.
Perdue served one term in the Senate and became a close confidant of then-President Trump. Perdue lost his seat in 2020 to Jon Ossoff in an election that saw Democratic candidates capture both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden win the state’s Electoral College votes.
Perdue was recruited by Trump to run for Georgia governor this year against incumbent Brian Kemp. Trump, who endorsed Kemp in 2018 at the urging of David and Sonny Perdue, has a vendetta against Kemp due to the governor’s certification of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results and refusal to call a special session of the Georgia General Assembly to choose a Republican slate of Electoral College electors to overturn Biden’s victory in the state.
How tall is David Perdue and other must-know facts
- David Perdue has run an active campaign for Georgia governor, a change in strategy from his 2020 Senate run. He limited his appearances ahead of the 2020 vote, leaning on the advantages that typically come with incumbency. He refused to debate Ossoff ahead of the runoff, allowing the challenger to attack an empty podium when Perdue was a no-show for the event.
- Perdue has closeted the denim jackets that were his fashion trademark during the 2014 Senate race.
- Perdue resides in Sea Island near Brunswick but hails from Bonaire, a town that neighbors Warner Robins. He is a Georgia Tech graduate, has been married for 50 years with three children and three grandchildren.
- His height is undisclosed but is approximately the same height as former President Trump, who stands 6-foot-3.
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