David Perdue

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David Perdue
David Perdue official Senate photo.jpg
United States Senator
from Georgia
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Serving with Johnny Isakson
Preceded by Saxby Chambliss
Chief Executive Officer of Dollar General
In office
April 2, 2003 – January 21, 2008
Preceded by Donald Shaffer (Acting)
Succeeded by Richard Dreiling
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
Children 2
Alma mater Georgia Institute of Technology
Religion United Methodist[1]
Website Senate website

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.

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., which interests in India included textile mills. Before entering politics, Perdue set up a global trading firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

Early life and education

David Perdue was born in Macon, Georgia, the son of David Alfred Perdue, Sr., and the former Gervaise Wynn, both schoolteachers.[2][3][4] He was raised in Warner Robins, Georgia.[5][6]

Perdue has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering (1972) and a master's degree in operations research (1975), both from Georgia Tech.[7][8] At Georgia Tech, Perdue was a brother of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity.[9]

He married Bonnie Dunn, and they had two sons together. The couple now lives in the resort town of Sea Island.[10] The couple have two sons, David A. Perdue III and Blake Perdue, and three grandchildren.[10][7] David Perdue, Jr. is the first cousin of former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue.[11]

Business career

Perdue began his career at Kurt Salmon Associates, an international consulting firm, where he worked for twelve years as a management consultant.[12] 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.[13]

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.[3]

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.[14]

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.[3]

From 2007 to 2009, Perdue worked as a senior consultant for Indian chemical and textile conglomerate Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd.[15] In April 2011, Perdue started an Atlanta-based global trading firm.[3]

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."[3]

U.S. Senate

2014 Senate campaign

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.[14][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

Political positions

Perdue stated that he entered politics out of concern for the rising national debt. He repeats the Republican line to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[18] He also supports a constitutional balanced budget amendment and comprehensive tax reform.[19] In addition, he pledged to limit himself to two terms in the Senate, equivalent to 12 years.[20]

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.[21] This is consistent with his record of a "Common Defense," as he also supported the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).[22]

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".[23]

Electoral history

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

  1. "About David". US Senate. Retrieved June 12, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Perdue Campaign Releases New TV Ad: "Georgia Values"". Perdue Senate. October 24, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Bluestein, Greg (August 8, 2013). "David Perdue's business background looms large in Senate run". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Wynn-Perdue, Gervaise (1984). James A. Perdue and descendants, 1822-1984. G. Wynn-Perdue. ISBN 9780961347406.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Hohmann, James (July 22, 2014). "Georgia Republican Senate runoff: 5 things to watch". Politico. Retrieved August 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. George, Tom (March 2, 2014). "David Perdue announces Senate bid in Warner Robins". WMAZ. Retrieved August 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Republican David Perdue's life at a glance". Associated Press. July 12, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "David Perdue's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved August 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "DELTA SIGMA PHI - Timeline | Facebook". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2016-07-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Gillooly, Jon (February 16, 2014). "Senate hopeful Perdue weighs in on hot-button issues". Marietta Daily Journal. Retrieved December 24, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Ball, M. (May 21, 2014). "Meet David Perdue—He Might Be Georgia's Next Senator". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 19, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Dollar General Corporation Names David A. Perdue, Jr. CEO". Dollar General. Retrieved August 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Cassidy, Christina (July 12, 2014). "Perdue touts business record in Georgia Senate bid". Associated Press. Retrieved August 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. 14.0 14.1 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Cameron Joseph (October 13, 2014). "Perdue cut work in India from bio". Retrieved October 13, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 Chris Joyner (October 6, 2014). "Perdue 'proud' of outsourcing past, blames Washington for jobs lost". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved October 10, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "David Perdue". Ballotpedia. 2016. Retrieved June 12, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Jim Gaines (August 21, 2014). "Nunn, Perdue take different tacks at forum". Ledger-Enquirer. Retrieved September 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Wes Mayer (July 18, 2014). "Perdue Visits Newnan During Run-off Campaign". Times-Herald. Retrieved September 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "The Issues". Perdue Senate. Retrieved February 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. the ridiculous dept (October 22, 2015). "CISA Moves Forward: These 83 Senators Just Voted To Expand Surveillance". techdirt. Retrieved September 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Senator David Perdue Urges Colleagues to Provide for the Common Defense". October 7, 2015. Retrieved October 23, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. Woodruff, Betsie (June 10, 2016). "GOP Senator Jokes About Praying for Obama's Death". The Daily Beast. Retrieved June 10, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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

2014
Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Saxby Chambliss
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Georgia
2015–present
Served alongside: Johnny Isakson
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Rounds
United States Senators by seniority
96th
Succeeded by
Thom Tillis