|United States Senator
January 3, 2015
Serving with Johnny Isakson
|Preceded by||Saxby Chambliss|
|Born||David Alfred Perdue Jr.
December 10, 1949
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
|Relatives||Sonny Perdue (cousin)|
|Residence||Sea Island, Georgia|
|Education||Georgia Institute of Technology
David Alfred Perdue Jr. // (born December 10, 1949) is an American businessman and politician. He is the junior United States Senator from Georgia, having been elected in 2014 to the seat previously held by Saxby Chambliss, who retired. Perdue won the Republican primary and defeated Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn on November 4, 2014, taking office on January 3, 2015. He is a first cousin of Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia and current Secretary of Agriculture.
Perdue, Jr. started his business career with more than a decade as a management consultant. In 1992 he became a VP at Sara Lee Corporation. During the next decade, he worked with Haggar Clothing, and Reebok. He was unable to correct problems at Pillowtex, which he joined in 2002, leaving after nine months with a large buyout. Perdue next worked for Dollar General, where he did achieve a turnaround, and later for the Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd., whose interests in India included textile mills. Before entering politics, Perdue set up a global trading firm in Atlanta, Georgia.
Perdue has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering (1972) and a master's degree in operations research (1975), both from Georgia Tech. At Georgia Tech, Perdue was a brother of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.
He married Bonnie Dunn. The couple now lives in the resort town of Sea Island. The couple have two sons, David A. Perdue III and Blake Perdue, and three grandchildren. David Perdue, Jr. is the first cousin of former Georgia governor and current United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
Perdue began his career at Kurt Salmon Associates, an international consulting firm, where he worked for twelve years as a management consultant. His first major corporate job was as senior vice president of Asia operations for Sara Lee Corporation, a position he took in 1992. His time at Sara Lee was followed by a stint at Haggar Clothing, where he became senior vice president of operations in 1994.
In 1998, Perdue joined Reebok as a senior vice president, eventually rising to president and CEO. Perdue is credited with significantly reducing the company's debt and reviving its sneaker line. Perdue negotiated a contract with the National Football League that a former Reebok executive referred to as "revolutionary" for repositioning the company's shoe brand.
In 2002, Perdue left Reebok for Pillowtex, a North Carolina textile company. The company had recently emerged from bankruptcy with a heavy debt load and an underfunded pension liability. Perdue was unable to obtain additional funding from the company's investors and later was unsuccessful in finding a buyer for the company. He left the company in 2003 after nine months on the job and $1.7 million in compensation. Pillowtex closed several months later, leaving 7,650 workers out of work nationwide. With more than 4,000 jobs lost statewide, the closing of Pillowtex resulted in the largest single-day job loss in North Carolina history at the time.
After leaving Pillowtex, Perdue became CEO of Dollar General. Prior to his joining the company, it had recently overstated profits by $100 million and paid $162 million to settle shareholder lawsuits. Perdue overhauled the company's inventory line and logistics network, and updated its marketing strategy. After initially closing hundreds of stores, the company doubled its stock price and opened 2,600 new stores before being sold in 2007 to private equity investors.
From 2007 to 2009, Perdue worked as a senior consultant for Indian chemical and textile conglomerate Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd. In April 2011, Perdue started an Atlanta-based global trading firm with Trey Childress, Heidi Green, and former Georgia governor, Sonny Perdue.
Perdue touted his business experience, and particularly his experience at Dollar General, in running for political office as a Republican candidate. According to Perdue: "We added about 2,200 stores, created almost 20,000 jobs and doubled the value of that company in a very short period of time. Not because of me, but because we listened to our customers and employees.” He received the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Perdue's political opponents targeted his business career during the campaign, specifically for outsourcing work offshore. Perdue said he was "proud of" finding lower cost labor for some companies. Critics noted that he had contributed to a total of thousands of jobs lost following the final closure of Pillowtex, while Perdue left the company after nine months with a nearly $2 million buyout. After being elected, Perdue stated that he wanted to bring the perspective of "a working person" to Washington, D.C.
He supports policies to achieve energy independence, as well as 'revitalizing' American manufacturing and increasing exports to 'create quality jobs' and for 'long-term economic growth'. Additionally, he supports actions to 'strictly enforce' laws to secure the border; opposes gun control; is a supporter of the State of Israel; opposes Common Core; and opposes same-sex marriage.
He supports repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He opposes abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. He also supports a constitutional balanced budget amendment and comprehensive tax reform. In addition, he pledged to limit himself to two terms in the Senate (12 years).
In October 2015, Perdue voted in favor of the CISA (Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act), despite strong opposition from major companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter. This is consistent with his record of a "Common Defense," as he also supported the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).
Perdue's first cousin is the 31st Secretary of Agriculture.
Perdue was one of 22 senators to sign a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to have the United States withdraw from the Paris Agreement. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Perdue has received over $180,000 from oil, gas and coal interests since 2012.
According to Politico, Perdue is a "frequent ally of Trump." Perdue fought to prevent the Senate from blocking the Chinese telecom firm ZTE from purchasing American components. The Commerce Department had barred ZTE from doing so for seven years after it accused the firm of having deceived US regulators and violated sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
In 2017, Perdue co-sponsored the RAISE Act, which would reduce legal immigration by 50% and cap refugee admissions to 50,000 individuals per year.
On January 11, 2018, Senator Perdue attended a meeting at the White House where, according to people with direct knowledge of the conversation, President Trump stated that Haiti, El Salvador and African countries were "shithole nations" and that the United States should not take in immigrants from these countries. Senator Perdue stated that he did not recall these statements by the President. Perdue was criticized by veteran journalist Tom Brokaw who suggested that the senator should get a hearing aid at Costco. Then on Sunday, January 14, 2018, Senator Perdue stated on ABC’s “This Week” that he now remembered that President Trump did not use those words just days after he said he did not recall them.
Perdue stated in October 2017 that the national debt was the greatest threat to the security of the United States. In December 2017, Perdue voted in favor of a tax plan called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that critics said will increase the National debt $1 trillion dollars in ten years by slashing individual and corporate tax rates; supporters of the tax bill argued that the cuts would stimulate economic growth.
|U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Georgia, 2014|
|Republican||Arthur "Art" Gardner||5,711||0.94%|
|U.S. Senate Republican Primary Runoff election in Georgia, 2014|
|U.S. Senate election in Georgia, 2014|
|Write-in||Anantha Reddy Muscu||21||0.00%|
|Write-in||Brian Russell Brown||9||0.00%|
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Georgia
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
Served alongside: Johnny Isakson
|Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority
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