You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Sonny Perdue discusses ‘skill set’ with Trump, who still needs ag chief


Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday made the trek to New York amid speculation that he’s on President-elect Donald Trump’s short list for secretary of agriculture.

The Republican spent nearly two hours at Trump Tower, according to pool reports.

Perdue later told reporters that he did not talk about filling any specific position in the Trump administration, but he said the president-elect asked him about his “skill sets.”

“I’m interested in helping the country,” said Perdue, who was decked out in a tie with tractors on it. “I told the president-elect … that I would be happy to serve from Georgia, where I am very happily living with my wife and 14 grandchildren, or I’d be happy to serve him if he thought I could be helpful to him here in D.C.”

Perdue called the meeting “very genuine, honest, forthright,” and he said the two discussed agriculture, trade and the economy.

The visit came a day after Trump named another prominent Georgia Republican, U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell, as his pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

Perdue became Georgia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction when he was elected in 2002. He was also an early Trump supporter, stumping for him in Middle Georgia in the final months of the campaign. His first cousin, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, was one of Trump’s highest-profile surrogates in the South.

“Sonny’s background in business, his medical background, his executive background as a governor make him an ideal choice,” David Perdue said in an interview Tuesday. “In fact, I think he may be the best choice I know in America to be in that ag position if he gets considered.”

A member of Trump’s agriculture advisory board, Sonny Perdue helped craft Georgia agriculture policy in the 1990s as a Democratic state senator from Houston County before switching to the GOP in the early 2000s to challenge Gov. Roy Barnes. His surprise victory triggered a Republican wave in Georgia that flipped the state Senate and then the state House. Now the GOP controls all of Georgia’s statewide offices.

Since leaving office in 2011, Perdue has run a string of agricultural, logistics and trucking firms from his base in Middle Georgia.

Other contenders for the post reportedly include former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas.

Perdue’s former campaign manager, Nick Ayers, is now a top aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence and a central player on Trump’s transition team.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Georgia Politics

Atlanta bribery figure cashed in during winter storms
Atlanta bribery figure cashed in during winter storms

In February 2014 as contractor Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. paid $188,000 in bribes for Atlanta contracts, city officials awarded his company emergency work totalling $5.2 million for a devastating ice storm that month, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News investigation has found. Mitchell’s Cascade Building Systems...
Stadium and many sports fields planned near Stonecrest Mall
Stadium and many sports fields planned near Stonecrest Mall

Developers announced plans Wednesday to transform a grassy field near Stonecrest Mall into a $200 million sports complex that they say will be swarming with amateur and pro athletes playing soccer, football, baseball and other sports. Construction on Atlanta Sports City is set to begin this fall and will eventually include a 15,000 seat stadium...
Atlanta Mayor Reed said Tuesday “challenging day” after FBI action
Atlanta Mayor Reed said Tuesday “challenging day” after FBI action

One day after one of his department heads was caught up in the widening Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal, Mayor Kasim Reed again expressed anger about the alleged wrongdoing on his watch. “It is very frustrating and disappointing to be in this space right now,” Reed told V103’s Ryan Cameron and Wanda Smith on their morning radio...
Bill offering insurance to firefighters passes Senate committee
Bill offering insurance to firefighters passes Senate committee

Legislation that would offer firefighters special insurance polices to treat work-related cancers passed its first Senate committee hearing Wednesday with a unanimous vote. “This is a great story, and it’s one that should be told to our children and our children’s children,” said State and Local Government Operations Chairman...
Cancer hospital wants new deal from state lawmakers
Cancer hospital wants new deal from state lawmakers

With a new wave of advertising and a new bill at the Georgia General Assembly, Cancer Treatment Centers of America has re-ignited its ongoing turf war with the rest of Georgia’s hospitals. The “destination cancer hospital” is again seeking to change the terms of a 2008 legislative deal that permitted the cancer-only hospital...
More Stories