Former Sen. David Perdue Announces Georgia Gubernatorial Campaign
ATLANTA — Former Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., announced on Monday he will enter the Georgia gubernatorial race in a bid to oust incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp.
Perdue narrowly lost a January runoff election to Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., but was reportedly encouraged to challenge Kemp by former President Donald Trump over the governor’s refusal to overturn President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in the state. Perdue declared in his campaign announcement that he is running to ensure Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is defeated.
Perdue, born in Macon, Georgia, is the son of schoolteachers David Perdue Sr. and Gervaise Perdue. The senior Perdue was a Democrat who was elected superintendent of schools for Houston County and oversaw the desegregation of the county’s school system during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He is also the first cousin of Sonny Perdue, former Georgia governor and secretary of agriculture.
Perdue received a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s degree in operations research from the Georgia Institute of Technology before beginning his career with the international consulting firm Kurt Salmon Associates in 1972. He would go on to hold various positions in the business sector before joining Reebok as senior vice president in 1998 and eventually rising to president and CEO of the brand.
Perdue declared for Georgia’s Senate race in 2014 and touted his experience as a successful businessman during his time on the campaign trail. He was endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business and went on to defeat Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn by a margin of 53% to 45%.
In his first congressional session, Perdue served on the Senate Judiciary, Budget and Foreign Relations committees. Throughout his tenure in the Senate, Perdue served on a number of various Senate committees, including the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
He was one of the Senate’s wealthiest members during his tenure and frequently traded stocks, funds and shares while in office. In 2020, Perdue’s trading activity increased and he was criticized for making frequent trades during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the Senate ethics committee found he did not violate the STOCK Act with his actions.
Trump endorsed Perdue for Georgia governor in a written statement in which he praised Perdue’s career in the U.S. Senate and described Kemp as a “Republican in name only.” Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary is scheduled for May 24, 2022.
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