Trump leaning toward Georgia ex-governor
for agriculture head: official
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[January 03, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former
Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is U.S. Republican President-elect Donald
Trump's leading candidate to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a
senior Trump transition team official said on Monday.
Perdue, a Democrat-turned-Republican who founded a grain and fertilizer
business, served on Trump's agricultural advisory committee during his
The official gave no other details about Trump's choice for agriculture
secretary, one of the few remaining posts Trump has to fill as he
assumes the White House on Jan. 20.
The appointment must be approved by the Republican-led U.S. Senate.
Perdue, 70, led the southern U.S. state for two terms as governor from
2003 to 2011 after previously representing a rural swath of central
Georgia about 100 miles south of Atlanta in the state Senate.
Elected in 2002, he became the state's first Republican since 1871,
according to the National Governors Association.
After finishing his second term as governor, Perdue founded Perdue
Partners, a global trading firm that consults and provides services for
companies looking to export products.
Trump had been meeting with a number of other possible candidates for
U.S. agriculture secretary, including Elsa Murano, undersecretary of
agriculture for food safety under President George W. Bush, and Chuck
Conner, head of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.
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Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
He has also met with Abel Maldonado, former lieutenant governor of
California and co-owner of Runway Vineyards; Tim Huelskamp,
Republican U.S. representative from Kansas; and Sid Miller, Texas
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Mark Weinraub
in Chicago and Susan Heavey; Editing by James Dalgleish and Andrea
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