David Alfred Perdue, Jr. (born December 10, 1949) is an American politician who is the junior United States Senator from Georgia, having been elected to the seat previously held by Senator Saxby Chambliss who retired. Perdue won the most votes in the Republican primary election in Georgia on May 20, 2014, and defeated Representative Jack Kingston in the runoff on July 22, 2014. Perdue defeated Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn on November 4, 2014, and took office on January 3, 2015.
Early life and education
Perdue was born in Macon, the son of David Alfred Perdue, Sr., and the former Gervaise Wynn, both schoolteachers. He was raised in Warner Robins. He lives with his wife, Bonnie Dunn Perdue, in the resort town of Sea Island. The couple have two sons, David A. Perdue III and Blake Perdue, and three grandchildren. He is the first cousin of former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue.
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.
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 state wide, it was 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 textile conglomerate Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd. In April 2011, Perdue started an Atlanta-based global trading firm.
2014 Senate campaign
Perdue touted his business experience, and particularly his experience at Dollar General, in running for office. 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, which Perdue stated he was "proud of", and for the job losses that followed the final closure of Pillowtex. After being elected, David Perdue stated that he wanted to bring the perspective of a working person to Washington D.C.
The race was considered to be a competitive race. Perdue won the general election, defeating the Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn by almost 8 percentage points.
Role in the Letter to Iran
Perdue was one of 47 senators in March 2015 to send a letter to the Iranian government in order to undermine a forthcoming nuclear deal between President Barack Obama and Iran. His signature was the second signature on the letter.
- Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on Foreign Relations
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Special Committee on Aging
Perdue stated that he entered politics out of concern for the rising national debt. He supports repealing and replacing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He also supports a constitutional balanced budget amendment and comprehensive tax reform. In addition, he has pledged to limit himself to two terms in the Senate, equivalent to 12 years, if elected.
- Sarlin, Benjy (July 22, 2014). "David Perdue wins GOP nomination in Georgia Senate race". MSNBC. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
- "Perdue Campaign Releases New TV Ad: "Georgia Values"". Perdue Senate. October 24, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
- Bluestein, Greg (August 8, 2013). "David Perdue’s business background looms large in Senate run". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- Wynn-Perdue, Gervaise (1984). James A. Perdue and descendants, 1822-1984. G. Wynn-Perdue. ISBN 9780961347406.
- Hohmann, James (July 22, 2014). "Georgia Republican Senate runoff: 5 things to watch". Politico. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- George, Tom (March 2, 2014). "David Perdue announces Senate bid in Warner Robins". WMAZ. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- Gillooly, Jon (February 16, 2014). "Senate hopeful Perdue weighs in on hot-button issues". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- "Republican David Perdue's life at a glance". Associated Press. July 12, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- Ball, M. (May 21, 2014). "Meet David Perdue—He Might Be Georgia's Next Senator". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- "David Perdue's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- "Dollar General Corporation Names David A. Perdue, Jr. CEO". Dollar General. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- Cassidy, Christina (July 12, 2014). "Perdue touts business record in Georgia Senate bid". Associated Press. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- 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.
- Cameron Joseph (October 13, 2014). "Perdue cut work in India from bio". Retrieved October 13, 2014.
- Chris Joyner (October 6, 2014). "Perdue ‘proud’ of outsourcing past, blames Washington for jobs lost". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
- Jim Gaines (August 21, 2014). "Nunn, Perdue take different tacks at forum". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- Wes Mayer (July 18, 2014). "Perdue Visits Newnan During Run-off Campaign". Times-Herald. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "The Issues". Perdue Senate. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- U.S. Senator David Perdue official U.S. Senate site
- David Perdue for U.S. Senate campaign website
- David Perdue at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Georgia
|United States Senate|
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
Served alongside: Johnny Isakson
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority
| Succeeded by|