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Sonny Perdue

Sonny Perdue
Perdue at the Georgia State Capitol in March 2007
81st Governor of Georgia
In office
January 13, 2003 – January 10, 2011
Lieutenant Mark Taylor
Casey Cagle
Preceded by Roy Barnes
Succeeded by Nathan Deal
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 18th district
In office
1991 – December 4, 2001
Personal details
Born George Ervin Perdue III[1]
(1946-12-20) December 20, 1946
Georgia, U.S.
Political party Republican (1998–present)
Other political
Democratic (1992–1998)
Spouse(s) Mary Ruff
Alma mater University of Georgia
Profession Agribusiness
Religion Southern Baptist
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Rank Captain

George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III (born December 20, 1946) is an American politician who served as the Reconstruction.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • State senator 2.1
    • Governor of Georgia 2.2
  • Controversies 3
    • Land ownership 3.1
    • Praying for rain 3.2
  • Electoral history 4
    • As State Senator 4.1
    • As Governor of Georgia 4.2
  • Personal life 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and education

Perdue was born in Bonaire, an unincorporated area between Perry and Warner Robins. His father was a farmer and his mother was a teacher. Perdue has been known as Sonny since childhood and prefers to be called by that name (he was sworn in and signs official documents as "Sonny Perdue"). Perdue is the first cousin of U.S. Senator David Perdue.[2]

Perdue played quarterback at veterinarian before becoming a small business owner, eventually starting three small businesses.


Perdue and other U.S. state governors with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Perdue at a political rally in December 2008.
Perdue with U.S. Navy sailors in October 2010.

Perdue served in the U.S. Air Force, rising to the rank of captain before being discharged.

State senator

After serving as a member of the Georgia General Assembly. He defeated Republican candidate Ned Sanders in 1990 and succeeded Democratic incumbent Ed Barker as the Senator representing the 18th district.

Perdue was elected in 1991, 1994.and 1996, serving as his party's leader in the Senate, from 1994 to 1997, and as president pro tempore.[3]

His committee assignments included Ethics, Finance & Public Utilities, Health & Human Services, Reapportionment and Economic Development, Tourism & Cultural Affairs.

He switched party affiliation from Democrat to Republican in 1998 and was re-elected to the Senate as a Republican. He also won re-election in 2000.

Governor of Georgia

Perdue resigned in December 2001 and devoted himself entirely to running for the office of Governor. He was Roy Barnes, 51% to 46% (a Libertarian candidate took 2% of the vote[4]). He became the first Republican governor of Georgia in over 130 years.

Perdue was re-elected to a second term in the 2010.

Two primary objectives in Perdue's administration was on reforming state government and on improving education. Perdue advocated reforms designed to cut waste in government, most notably the sale of surplus vehicles and real estate. (Prior to Perdue's becoming governor, no state agency had even compiled an inventory of what assets the state owned, much less managed them.

In education, Perdue promoted the return of most decision-making to the local level. After Perdue took office, Georgia moved out of last place in SAT scores in 2003 and 2004. Although it returned to last place in 2005, Georgia rose to 49th place in 2006 in the combined math and reading mean score, including the writing portion (new that year).[6] The high school class of 2006 recorded the sharpest drop in SAT scores in 31 years.[7]

Having campaigned for governor, promising to let the citizens of Georgia vote to determine North American Vexillological Association deeming it as the worst U.S. state flag at the time in terms of aesthetics. Perdue disappointed some Georgians when the 1956 flag was not added as a choice on the ballot after promising throughout his campaign that the 1956 flag design would appear in any referendum. However, Perdue was faced with a Democratic House that would not consider having the 1956 flag on the referendum and he needed support for the new tobacco tax he wanted to pass.

As of September 2007, Perdue remained relatively popular. Perdue had a 56% approval rating, while 35% disapproved, according to Strategic Vision.[8]

According to a March 5, 2008, proclamation by Perdue, "Among those who served the Confederacy were many African-Americans, both free and slave, who saw action in the Confederate armed forces in many combat roles. According to the Georgia government's website on Confederate History Month, they also participated in the manufacture of products for the war effort, built naval ships, and provided military assistance and relief efforts..."[9] The proclamation was criticized by historians for its historical inaccuracies.[10]

Perdue's tenure included the

Georgia Senate
Preceded by
Ed Barker
Georgia State Senator from 18th district
Succeeded by
Ross Tolleson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Guy Millner
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Nathan Deal
Political offices
Preceded by
Roy Barnes
Governor of Georgia
Succeeded by
Nathan Deal

External links

  1. ^ Inscoe, John C., University of Georgia, 2/6/2004
  2. ^
  3. ^ Charles S. Bullock, III, The Georgia Political Almanac, The General Assembly 1993–94
  4. ^ "Official Results of the November 5, 2002 General Election". Georgia Election Results. Georgia Secretary of State. 2002-12-24. Retrieved June 10, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Georgia Election Results, Georgia Secretary of State". Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  6. ^ Georgia climbs in SAT rankings despite drop in score,, September 21, 2009 
  7. ^ Jeffery Whitfield, Clayton News Daily, "School system suffers drop in SAT scores", August 29, 2006 (AP sources used in report)
  8. ^ "Poll Results – GA". Retrieved February 14, 2008. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Loewen, James W.; Sebesta, Edward H. (2010). The Confederate and the Neo-Confederate Reader. Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 382–383.  
  11. ^ Edward Martin (September 24, 2009). "USGS Release: Atlanta Flooding Sets New Records". USGS. Retrieved September 27, 2009. 
  12. ^ Gov. Sonny Perdue issues state of emergency for 17 Georgia counties, Savannah Now, September 21, 2009 
  13. ^ "About Us". Ready Georgia. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c Ken Foskett, "Perdue failed to disclose land buy near prized tract: Acreage next to the governor's Houston County home abuts a pristine forest that's slated for major development", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 28, 2006
  15. ^ a b c James Salzer, "Perdue invests close to home: Governor appears to ignore his rationale in Florida deal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 2, 2006
  16. ^ Updated 93 minutes ago 12/2/2010 2:09:41 pm +00:00 (November 13, 2007). "Dry Georgia rallies, and prays, for rain - Weather". MSNBC. Retrieved December 2, 2010. 
  17. ^ [2] Archived September 3, 2006 at the Wayback Machine


  • List of Governors of Georgia

See also

[17] Perdue and his wife, Mary, were married in 1972. They have four children (two boys and two girls) and twelve grandchildren (five boys and seven girls) and have also been foster parents for eight children. In addition to flying, Perdue is also an avid sportsman. Perdue made a

Personal life

Georgia gubernatorial election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sonny Perdue (incumbent) 1,229,724 57.9 +6.5
Democratic Mark Taylor 811,049 38.2 -8.0
Libertarian Garrett Michael Hayes 81,412 3.8 +1.5
Turnout 2,102,185
Republican hold Swing
Georgia gubernatorial election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sonny Perdue 1,041,677 51.4
Democratic Roy Barnes (Incumbent) 937,062 46.3
Libertarian Garrett Michael Hayes 47,122 2.3
Turnout 2,025,861
Republican gain from Democratic Swing

As Governor of Georgia

Senator 18th district, 2000
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sonny Perdue (Incumbent) 30,681 69.2
Democratic Miller Heath 13,647 30.8
Turnout 44,328
Republican hold Swing
Senator 18th district, 1998
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Sonny Perdue (Incumbent) 24,543 100.00
Turnout 24,543
Republican hold Swing
Senator 18th district, 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Sonny Perdue (Incumbent) 28,920 100.00
Turnout 28,920
Democratic hold Swing
Senator 18th district, 1990
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Sonny Perdue 17,932 70.53
Republican Ned Sanders 7,451 29.47
Turnout 25,383
Democratic hold Swing

As State Senator

Electoral history

In November 2007, while Georgia suffered from one of the worst droughts in several decades, Perdue, along with lawmakers and local ministers, prayed for rain on the steps of the state Capitol. This came shortly after [16]

Praying for rain

[15] Five days after Maryson was incorporated in 2003, O'Neal also incorporated a partnership for Perdue and his wife, Mary, called Perdue Plantation LLC, according to the Secretary of State's Office. This partnership also was not listed on Perdue's 2004 financial disclosure report. The Secretary of State's Office said an official is required to report ownership or a fiduciary position in a company.[14]) of land next to his 2 In mid-2003, Perdue purchased 101 acres (0.41 km

Land ownership



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