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Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue meets with President-elect Trump; is Cabinet job ahead?

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue speaks in support of his cousin, Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue, at an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Atlanta.
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue speaks in support of his cousin, Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue, at an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Atlanta. AP

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue traveled to New York for a face-to-face meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday. Perdue is rumored to be under consideration for the secretary of agriculture position after serving as an adviser on Trump’s agricultural committee during the campaign.

"We didn't talk about any specific position,” Perdue told reporters in Trump Tower after the meeting, describing it as “very informal, very friendly and a great time."

“He asked me what my skills sets were and I told him what they were, aside from having been governor, as a business person and primarily in agricultural commodities, trading domestically and internationally, and he lit up,” Perdue said. “He knew what it takes to make America great again by doing the things we do well, which is agriculture for one and to free up farmers from the regulations that we see. He was spot on on those issues.”

Perdue, 70, was Georgia’s governor from 2003 to 2011. He first entered politics as a Democrat, when he was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1990. He switched to the Republican party in 1998. A veterinarian by training, Perdue also served in the U.S. Air Force and owned several small businesses, including agriculture and fertilizer businesses.

He is the cousin of U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., who was Trump’s most vocal supporter in the state.

Perdue first backed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the 2016 presidential race. After Huckabee dropped out, Perdue endorsed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Perdue made national headlines during Georgia’s 2007 drought, when he was criticized for leading lawmakers in praying for rain on the steps of the state Capitol. It was protested by the Atlanta Freethought Society, which advocates for the separation of church and state.

Trump is reportedly also considering Texas agriculture commissioner Sid Miller, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

Another Georgian, Rep. Tom Price, was chosen to head Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday.

Vera Bergengruen: 202-383-6036, @verambergen

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