United States Senator|
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2015
Serving with Kelly Loeffler
|Preceded by||Saxby Chambliss|
David Alfred Perdue Jr.
December 10, 1949
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
|Relatives||Sonny Perdue (cousin)|
Georgia Institute of Technology|
( BS, MS)
|Net worth||$15.8 million (2018) |
David Alfred Perdue Jr. ( //; born December 10, 1949) is an American businessman and politician serving as the senior United States Senator for Georgia since 2015. A Republican, Perdue is a first cousin of Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia and current United States Secretary of Agriculture.
Perdue 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. (GHCL), whose interests in India included textile mills. In 2010, Perdue was appointed to the Georgia Ports Authority. In 2011 he also formed Perdue Partners, an Atlanta-based global trading firm, along with his cousin former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue.
David Perdue was born in Macon, Georgia, the son of David Alfred Perdue, Sr., and the former Gervaise Wynn, both schoolteachers.    David Perdue, Sr. was the elected Democratic superintendent of schools for Houston County, Georgia for twenty years, from 1960 to 1980, where he oversaw the desegregation of the school system during his tenure. 
Perdue was raised in Warner Robins, Georgia and graduated from Northside High School in 1968.   He left Warner Robins to start school at the United States Air Force Academy on June 23, 1968, after receiving an appointment from Congressman Jack Brinkley of Georgia.  Perdue's picture is included in the 1969 Air Force Academy yearbook, Polaris in the 17th squadron on page 547.  This was during the Vietnam War and Perdue had the very low draft number of 41, while the draft number in 1969 went up to 195. 
Perdue did not finish at the Air Force Academy, but went on to earn 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.[ citation needed]
Perdue is married to Bonnie Dunn since August 1972.  The couple lives in the resort town of Sea Island.  The couple had a daughter who died in infancy  and 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. He left the company after it was bought out by Adidas.  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. 
After Reebok, Perdue went to work as CEO of 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.  Perdue is credited for arranging the sale of Dollar General in 2007 to private equity investors KKR. Perdue reportedly earned $42 million after the buy-out deal and Dollar General paid millions of dollars to settle shareholder lawsuits alleging that Perdue and other executives undersold shareholders. 
From 2007 to 2009, Perdue worked as a senior consultant for Indian chemical and textile conglomerate Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd. 
In April 2011, he started Perdue Partners, an Atlanta-based global trading firm,  with his cousin former Georgia governor, Sonny Perdue.  In 2012, Perdue Partners acquired Benton Express, an Atlanta-based logistics company. 
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has described Perdue as having a "mixed" business record, but says that he was "known on Wall Street as a turnaround specialist who helps revive brands and reap rewards for investors."  
At the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, Perdue made dozens of stock trades in companies that could be involved in the response.  He conducted seventy-six stock purchases of as much as $1.8 million, and 34 stock sales of as much as $825,000. His buys included $65,000 worth of stock in DuPont, which produces personal protective equipment.  Perdue claimed he was not involved in any of the decisions, but was scrutinized for insider trading around the pandemic.  
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.
Reports also highlighted the overlap and lack of transparency between Perdue's role as a Director of the Georgia Ports Authority from 2010-2013 and his founding with his cousin and former Governor Sonny Perdue of Perdue Partners, which acquired in 2012 a global logistics firm that provided transloading services at the Georgia ports.  
Perdue is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2020. 
At a 2018 campaign event for Brian Kemp, Perdue was asked a question about voter suppression by a student member of the Young Democratic Socialists of America. Perdue snatched the student's phone, which was being used to record, away from the student. 
In June 2016, at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority conference, Perdue said, "We should pray for Barack Obama. But I think we need to be very specific about how we pray. We should pray like Psalms 109:8 says. It says, 'Let his days be few, and let another have his office'".  In a statement, Perdue's office clarified: "He in no way wishes harm to our president and everyone in the room understood that". 
- Senate Committee on Armed Services
- Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Senate Committee on the Budget
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism
- Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues
- Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations and Bilateral International Development
- Subcommittee on International Development, Multilateral Institutions and International Economic, Energy and Environmental Policy
- Special Committee on Aging
Perdue supports policies to achieve energy independence, mentioning on his Senate campaign Facebook page that he was in favor of eliminating the EPA, 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. 
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. 
Perdue is a close ally of President Donald 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 July 2018, Perdue said that he opposed tariffs but that he would support President Trump on his tariff increases. 
On January 11, 2018, 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.  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, 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 the Republican tax plan called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was estimated to increase the national debt one trillion dollars in ten years by slashing individual and corporate tax rates.     Perdue voted in favor of the 2017 budget, which was estimated to add as much as $1.5 trillion to deficits over ten years.  Perdue said he voted for the budget, because "the $1.5 trillion is an investment to grow the economy." 
In September 2018, Perdue was among six Republican senators, Jeff Flake, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Ben Sasse, and Pat Toomey, as well as Bernie Sanders, that voted against a $854 billion spending bill, meant to avoid a government shutdown. Said bill included funding for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor and Education. 
In April 2018, Perdue was one of eight Republican senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin and acting Secretary of State John Sullivan expressing "deep concern" over a report by the United Nations exposing "North Korean sanctions evasion involving Russia and China" and asserting that the findings "demonstrate an elaborate and alarming military-venture between rogue, tyrannical states to avoid United States and international sanctions and inflict terror and death upon thousands of innocent people" while calling it "imperative that the United States provides a swift and appropriate response to the continued use of chemical weapons used by President Assad and his forces, and works to address the shortcomings in sanctions enforcement." 
In March 2017, Perdue co-sponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (s. 720), which made it a federal crime for Americans to encourage or participate in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories if protesting actions by the Israeli government.  
In 2017, Perdue co-sponsored the RAISE Act, which would implement a points-based system of immigration, similar to that used in Canada and Australia, and would reduce legal immigration by 50% and cap refugee admissions to 50,000 individuals per year.[ citation needed] He supports strictly enforcing current immigration laws and preventing illegal entry into the United States. 
In June 2019, Perdue defended Trump's decision to place tariffs on Mexico unless illegal immigration from Mexico stopped. Perdue said, "He has to use a hammer. We're being invaded right now." 
In April 2020, Perdue was one of nearly 100 lawmakers to be appointed to President Trump's bi-partisan Congressional Economic Task Force. Perdue along with the rest of the task force will be working to reenergize the economy as the country recovers from COVID-19. 
|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%|
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Cal Turner Jr.
| Chief Executive Officer of
|Party political offices|
Republican nominee for
U.S. Senator from
( Class 2)
U.S. senator (Class 2) from Georgia
Served alongside: Johnny Isakson, Kelly Loeffler
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
United States Senators by seniority
|114th||Senate: J. Isakson • D. Perdue||House: J. Lewis • S. Bishop • D. Scott • T. Price • L. Westmoreland • H. Johnson • T. Graves • A. Scott • R. Woodall • D. Collins • R. Allen • B. Carter • J. Hice • B. Loudermilk|
|115th||Senate: J. Isakson • D. Perdue||House: J. Lewis • S. Bishop • D. Scott • T. Price • H. Johnson • T. Graves • A. Scott • R. Woodall • D. Collins • R. Allen • B. Carter • J. Hice • B. Loudermilk • D. Ferguson • K. Handel|
|116th||Senate: J. Isakson • D. Perdue • K. Loeffler||House: J. Lewis • S. Bishop • D. Scott • H. Johnson • T. Graves • A. Scott • R. Woodall • D. Collins • R. Allen • B. Carter • J. Hice • B. Loudermilk • D. Ferguson • L. McBath|