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David Perdue
David Perdue, Official Portrait, 114th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Georgia
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Serving with Johnny Isakson
Preceded by Saxby Chambliss
Personal details
Born David Alfred Perdue Jr.
(1949-12-10) December 10, 1949 (age 68)
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Bonnie Perdue
Children 2
Relatives Sonny Perdue (cousin)
Residence Sea Island, Georgia
Education Georgia Institute of Technology
(BS, MS)
Website Senate website

David Alfred Perdue Jr. /pərˈd/ (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.

Early life and education[edit]

David Perdue was born in Macon, Georgia, the son of David Alfred Perdue, Sr., and the former Gervaise Wynn, both schoolteachers.[1][2][3] He was raised in Warner Robins, Georgia.[4][5]

Perdue has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering (1972) and a master's degree in operations research (1975), both from Georgia Tech.[6][7] At Georgia Tech, Perdue was a brother of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.[8]

He married Bonnie Dunn. The couple now lives in the resort town of Sea Island.[9] The couple have two sons, David A. Perdue III and Blake Perdue, and three grandchildren.[6][9] David Perdue, Jr. is the first cousin of former Georgia governor and current United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.[10]

Business career[edit]

Perdue began his career at Kurt Salmon Associates, an international consulting firm, where he worked for twelve years as a management consultant.[11] 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.[12]

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.[2]

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.[13]

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.[2]

From 2007 to 2009, Perdue worked as a senior consultant for Indian chemical and textile conglomerate Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd.[14] In April 2011, Perdue started an Atlanta-based global trading firm[2] with Trey Childress, Heidi Green, and former Georgia governor, Sonny Perdue.[15]

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Perdue is "known on Wall Street as a turnaround specialist who helps revive brands and reap rewards for investors."[2]

U.S. Senate[edit]

2014 Senate campaign[edit]

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.[16]

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.[13][16] After being elected, Perdue stated that he wanted to bring the perspective of "a working person" to Washington, D.C.

The race was considered to be competitive. Perdue won the general election, defeating the Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn 52.89% to 45.21%.[17]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

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.[18]

He supports repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[19] He opposes abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.[20] He also supports a constitutional balanced budget amendment and comprehensive tax reform.[21] In addition, he pledged to limit himself to two terms in the Senate (12 years).[22]

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.[23] This is consistent with his record of a "Common Defense," as he also supported the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).[24]

In a June 2016 speech to a conference of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Perdue urged the audience to pray for President Obama's "days to be short".[25]

Perdue's first cousin is the 31st Secretary of Agriculture.[26]

Perdue was one of 22 senators to sign a letter[27] 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.[28]

According to Politico, Perdue is a "frequent ally of Trump."[29] Perdue fought to prevent the Senate from blocking the Chinese telecom firm ZTE from purchasing American components.[30] 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.[30]

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.

Republican senator Tom Cotton (left) with president Donald Trump and David Perdue (right).

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.[31] Senator Perdue stated that he did not recall these statements by the President.[32][33][34] Perdue was criticized by veteran journalist Tom Brokaw who suggested that the senator should get a hearing aid at Costco.[35] 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.[36]

Perdue stated in October 2017 that the national debt was the greatest threat to the security of the United States.[37] 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;[38] supporters of the tax bill argued that the cuts would stimulate economic growth.[39][40][41]

Electoral history[edit]

U.S. Senate Republican Primary election in Georgia, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican David Perdue 185,466 30.64%
Republican Jack Kingston 156,157 25.80%
Republican Karen Handel 132,944 21.96%
Republican Phil Gingrey 60,735 10.03%
Republican Paul Broun 58,297 9.63%
Republican Derrick Grayson 6,045 1.00%
Republican Arthur "Art" Gardner 5,711 0.94%
U.S. Senate Republican Primary Runoff election in Georgia, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican David Perdue 245,951 50.88%
Republican Jack Kingston 237,448 49.12%
U.S. Senate election in Georgia, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % +%
Republican David Perdue 1,358,088 52.89%
Democratic Michelle Nunn 1,160,811 45.21%
Libertarian Amanda Swafford 48,862 1.90%
Write-in Anantha Reddy Muscu 21 0.00%
Write-in Mary Schroder 14 0.00%
Write-in Brian Russell Brown 9 0.00%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Perdue Campaign Releases New TV Ad: "Georgia Values"". Perdue Senate. October 24, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Bluestein, Greg (August 8, 2013). "David Perdue's business background looms large in Senate run". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  3. ^ Wynn-Perdue, Gervaise (1984). James A. Perdue and descendants, 1822–1984. G. Wynn-Perdue. ISBN 9780961347406. 
  4. ^ Hohmann, James (July 22, 2014). "Georgia Republican Senate runoff: 5 things to watch". Politico. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ George, Tom (March 2, 2014). "David Perdue announces Senate bid in Warner Robins". WMAZ. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Republican David Perdue's life at a glance". Associated Press. July 12, 2014. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  7. ^ "David Perdue's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ "DELTA SIGMA PHI – Timeline | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16. 
  9. ^ a b Gillooly, Jon (February 16, 2014). "Senate hopeful Perdue weighs in on hot-button issues". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved December 24, 2014. 
  10. ^ Ball, M. (May 21, 2014). "Meet David Perdue—He Might Be Georgia's Next Senator". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Dollar General Corporation Names David A. Perdue, Jr. CEO". Dollar General. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ Cassidy, Christina (July 12, 2014). "Perdue touts business record in Georgia Senate bid". Associated Press. Archived from the original on September 16, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Adam Bell (July 21, 2014). "Long-dead Pillowtex reborn as unlikely issue in U.S. Senate race in Georgia". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ Cameron Joseph (October 13, 2014). "Perdue cut work in India from bio". Retrieved October 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ (April 18, 2011) "Governor Sonny Perdue Launches Perdue Partners, LLC". Business Wire website Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Chris Joyner (October 6, 2014). "Perdue 'proud' of outsourcing past, blames Washington for jobs lost". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ "David Perdue". Ballotpedia. 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  18. ^ "David Purdue on the Issues". Retrieved March 4, 2017. 
  19. ^ Jim Gaines (August 21, 2014). "Nunn, Perdue take different tacks at forum". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Purdue on Abortion" (PDF). April 10, 2014. 
  21. ^ Wes Mayer (July 18, 2014). "Perdue Visits Newnan During Run-off Campaign". Times-Herald. Archived from the original on July 13, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  22. ^ "David Perdue on The Issues". Perdue Senate. Archived from the original on February 6, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2014. 
  23. ^ the ridiculous dept (October 22, 2015). "CISA Moves Forward: These 83 Senators Just Voted To Expand Surveillance". techdirt. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Senator David Perdue Urges Colleagues to Provide for the Common Defense". October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  25. ^ Woodruff, Betsie (June 10, 2016). "GOP Senator Jokes About Praying for Obama's Death". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 10, 2016. 
  26. ^ Bjerga, Alan and Perez, Marvin G. (January 18, 2017). "Trump to Nominate Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary". Bloomberg News website Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  27. ^ Inhofe, James. "Senator". Retrieved June 7, 2017. 
  28. ^ "The Republicans who urged Trump to pull out of Paris deal are big oil darlings". The Guardian. June 1, 2017. Retrieved June 1, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Senate rejects Trump's rescue of Chinese firm ZTE". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-06-18. 
  30. ^ a b Press, By MATTHEW DALY, Associated (2018-06-18). "Senate backs bill blocking deal with Chinese telecom firm". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-06-18. 
  31. ^ Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa. JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and THOMAS KAPLAN. The New York Times, 11 January 2017
  32. ^ https://www.vox.com/2018/1/12/16885312/trump-shithole-countries-denial
  33. ^ Ashley Killough, January 12, 2017, CNN, 2 Republican senators in Trump meeting say they don't recall 'shithole' comment, Retrieved January 13, 2017, "...We do not recall the President saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system,..."
  34. ^ Sean Higgins, January 14, 2017, Washington Examiner, David Perdue: Trump did not make 'shithole countries' comment, Retrieved January 14, 2017, "....Asked repeatedly is the president specifically used the words "shithole country," Perdue, who was present at the meeting, eventually said, "I am telling you that he did not use those words."..."
  35. ^ Geobeats, January 14, 2017, AOL, Tom Brokaw suggests hearing aids for senators who do not recall Trump’s ‘s—-hole’ remark, Retrieved January 14, 2017, "...Veteran journalist Tom Brokaw has posted a scathing tweet aimed at Republican Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, who said that they “do not recall” President Trump making the “shithole” remark ..."
  36. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/14/us/politics/david-perdue-trump-shithole.html
  37. ^ [USA Today, October 5, 2017, article
  38. ^ CNN, Republican tax plan vote
  39. ^ Tax bill Republicans deal...
  40. ^ CNN, December 19, 2017, Senate approves GOP tax plan, House to revote Wednesday. CNN, 19 December 2017
  41. ^ CNN, December 19, 2017, Republican tax plan vote ...

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Saxby Chambliss
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Georgia
(Class 2)

2014
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Saxby Chambliss
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
2015–present
Served alongside: Johnny Isakson
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Rounds
United States Senators by seniority
86th
Succeeded by
Thom Tillis

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