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David Perdue

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David Perdue
David Perdue.jpg
U.S. Senate, Georgia
In office
January 3, 2015 - Present
Term ends
January 3, 2021
Years in position 0
PredecessorSaxby Chambliss (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Cost per vote$10.16 in 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 2020
Campaign $$13,842,966
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sGeorgia Tech
Master'sGeorgia Tech
ProfessionFormer CEO of Dollar General
Office website
Campaign website
David Perdue campaign logo
David Perdue is a Republican member to the U.S. Senate from Georgia.[1][2][3] He replaced the Senate seat held by the retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).[4] Perdue defeated Michelle Nunn (D) and Amanda Swafford (L) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

In an unexpected twist, businessman Perdue defeated Rep. Jack Kingston, a 20 year member of Congress, for the Republican nomination in the runoff primary.[2][3]

Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, beat out former state Senator Steen Miles, Branko Radulovacki and Todd Robinson for the Democratic nomination.[5][6]

According to an analysis by The Washington Post, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia was considered one of the top 10 Senate races of 2014. Michelle Nunn had consistently strong polling and fundraising numbers.[7]

The primary for the open seat was highlighted as one of the top five primaries to watch in 2014.[8] The crowded Republican field included three Reps. and a former secretary of state.[5] As the top two candidates, Perdue and Jack Kingston went head to head in the Republican runoff primary on July 22, 2014.[9][6][8][10]


Perdue was born in Macon, GA, and raised in Warner Robins.[11]

He earned a degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech.[11] He also earned his Master's in Operations Research from Georgia Tech.[11]

Perdue was the former CEO of Dollar General.[12] He also served as the CEO of Pillowtex from July 1, 2002, to March 27, 2003.[13] The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported that Perdue was "known on Wall Street as a turnaround specialist who helps revive brands and reap rewards for investors."[14]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Perdue's academic, professional and political career:[15]

  • 2015-Present: U.S. Senator from Georgia
  • 2009-Present: Founding Partner, Perdue Partners
  • 2007-2009: Senior Consultant, Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd.
  • 2003-2007: Chief Executive Officer, Dollar General
  • 2002-2003: Chief Executive Officer, Pillowtex
  • 1998-2002: President and CEO, Reebok
  • 1994-1998: Senior Vice President, Haggar Clothing
  • 1992-1994: Sara Lee Corporation, Senior Vice President of Asia Operations
  • 1976: Graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology, M.S.
  • 1972: Graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology, B.S.

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Perdue serves on the following committees:[16]


On The Issues Vote Match

David Perdue's Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Perdue is a Libertarian-Leaning Conservative. Perdue received a score of 31 percent on social issues and 82 percent on economic issues.[17]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[18]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Opposes Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Opposes
Expand ObamaCare Opposes Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Opposes
Vouchers for school choice Favors Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Favors
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Favors Human needs over animal rights Unknown
Higher taxes on the wealthy Opposes Stricter punishment reduces crime Unknown
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Opposes
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Opposes Maintain US sovereignty from UN Favors
Prioritize green energy Strongly Opposes Expand the military Strongly Favors
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Opposes Stay out of Iran Unknown
Privatize Social Security Favors Never legalize marijuana Opposes
Note: Information last updated: April 19, 2015.[17] If you notice the rating has changed, email us.

National security

Letter to Iran

On March 9, 2015, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) wrote a letter to Iran's leadership, warning them that signing a nuclear deal with the Obama administration without congressional approval was merely an "executive agreement." The letter also stated that "The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time." The letter was signed by 47 Republican members of the Senate. Perdue was one of the 47 who signed the letter. No Democrats signed it.[19]

The letter caused intense backlash from both the Obama administration and the public. Vice President Joe Biden said of the letter, "In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which senators wrote directly to advise another country — much less a longtime foreign adversary — that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them."[20] On Twitter, the hashtag "47Traitors" became the top trending topic in the world, and a debate raged as to whether the 47 who signed the letter were traitors or patriots.[21]

Republican leadership

In debates prior to the 2014 primary election, Perdue pledged not to vote for Mitch McConnell as a Republican leader in the Senate, as either the minority or majority leader.[22]

However, reports from Saxby Chambliss in August 2014 said Mitch McConnell called Perdue the day after he won the runoff and they discussed Perdue’s pledge.[23]

“They were very forthright and David made it very plain he’s going to support the Republican leadership and that’s not an issue and we’re moving on...I don’t want to put words in his mouth … but he was very clear with the Leader that he’s going to be a team player," Chambliss said.[23]

Campaign themes


Perdue listed the following themes on his campaign website (dead link):

  • The National Debt: "The crushing national debt has surpassed $17 trillion. We must act now to rein it in before it becomes unsustainable. Of course we have to cut wasteful spending and unnecessary bureaucracy. We have to eliminate the billions of dollars in failed government programs and redundant agencies. However, the best way to begin getting the debt under control is to grow the economy without a tax increase."
  • Comprehensive Tax Reform: "In the midst of a terrible economy, this would be the worst possible time to raise taxes on anyone. Too many families and too many businesses are struggling to get by. I will not support a tax increase of any kind. Furthermore, the federal tax code is too complicated and misaligned. It should be completely overhauled as a means to promote growth and encourage more domestic economic investment. My preference is the Fair Tax."
  • Term Limits: "I have never run for public office before, which in my opinion is a good thing. Just look at the results we have gotten from career politicians. They have created a crisis in Washington. We can't expect them to fix it. That's why I support term limits: a maximum three terms in the House, two terms in the Senate. I'll stick to that commitment myself. Until we get term limits in place, we should enforce them at the ballot box by voting the career politicians out of office."
  • Balanced Budget Amendment: "Every Georgia family understands that you can't perpetually spend more than you take in without going bankrupt. The problem is that the professional politicians in Washington won't make a tough decision. I would absolutely vote for a balanced budget amendment. However, we need immediate tax and regulatory reforms along with appropriate spending cuts so that we have a right-sized, responsible budget sooner rather than later."
  • Repeal ObamaCare: "ObamaCare is an overreaching federal program that will actually reduce the quality of health care and increase costs. I am one of the millions of Americans that had my personal policy cancelled after being told I could keep it. To make matters worse, Obamacare is discouraging full-time job creation. The consequences of politicians passing a massive bill without reading it continue to emerge. We need to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with more affordable free market solutions."
  • Revitalizing American Manufacturing: "I believe that we are on the verge of revitalizing American manufacturing. The private sector is primed to create quality jobs by manufacturing innovative products that require a skilled workforce and high-tech facilities. These products are needed for domestic consumption and more importantly for exports to foreign markets. But the manufacturing industry's renewal can be stunted if we don't correct bad energy policies, the lack of infrastructure, failures in education, and the punitive tax code."
  • Increasing American Exports: "The best opportunity for long-term economic growth is to boost our exports to emerging economies worldwide. In fact, I have started my own exporting business where we ship American-made products overseas. They have an increasing demand for American goods, both quality manufactured products as well as other needs such as agriculture products. Increasing exports requires elected leaders who understand global trends and how to remove barriers to growth. If so, we can create a new age of American prosperity."
  • Local Control of Education: "I grew up the son of two teachers. I married a teacher. I have seen firsthand that parents and local educators make the best decisions on how to meet the unique needs of students. For example, my mother started a program for gifted students that is still a model for schools across Georgia to this day. True innovation starts at the local level, not in Washington. We should dismantle unnecessary federal bureaucracy, including the push for Common Core, and get that funding into the classrooms."
  • Energy Independence: "Decades after an oil embargo led to gas rationing and long lines at the pump, we still don't have a plan for energy independence. Instead, our own government limits our options by being overtly hostile towards domestic energy producers. In the process, they force us to rely on energy resources from countries that wish to do us harm. With the right leadership, we can finally have a domestic energy policy that is environmentally responsible in the long-term while meeting our current needs."
  • Secure Our Borders: "Securing our borders is a matter of national security. The debate in Washington over illegal immigration has become unnecessarily complicated. Out-of-touch politicians have created another massive bill, like ObamaCare. Simply put, we need to strictly enforce current laws and any new laws should be straightforward, focusing on true border security. Until the federal government gets serious about immigration security and enforcement, discussing anything else is pointless."
  • The Right to Bear Arms: "Growing up in Middle Georgia, I have been hunting since I was young, but I understand the 2nd Amendment is not only about hunting. It is hard for me to question the wisdom of the Founders. They crafted a Constitution that has only been amended 27 times in over 225 years. Ten amendments were their own, designed to explicitly protect certain rights. The 2nd Amendment is clear. We have ample gun laws on the books now, and I believe we should focus on enforcing them."
  • Defending Our Values: "There are principles I share with a majority of Georgians. I believe that we should promote a culture that values life and protects the innocent, especially the unborn. I also believe that we must protect traditional marriage, keeping it clearly defined as between one man and one woman. Being pro-life and believing in the sanctity of marriage are my deeply held personal convictions. I will not waver in defending them if I have the privilege of serving you in the U.S Senate."


—David Perdue, Campaign website, [25]


The Republican primary candidates took part in a debate at the Anderson Conference Center in Macon on March 8, 2014.[26] Perdue highlighted his experience as a businessman.

"Well I think we've got a full blown financial crisis, and I think our career politicians cause it. I just don't think they have the depth or background to really fix it. We only have ten people in the United States Senate who have any business experience, and I just think we need to look outside that body for fresh ideas."[26]



See also: United States Senate elections in Georgia, 2014

Perdue was a 2014 Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia.[1] The election filled the Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).

U.S. Senate, Georgia General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Perdue 52.89% 1,358,088
     Democratic Michelle Nunn 45.21% 1,160,811
     Libertarian Amanda Swafford 1.90% 48,862
Total Votes 2,567,761
Source: Georgia Secretary of State

The primary for the open seat was highlighted as one of the top five primaries to watch in 2014.[8] The crowded Republican field included Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston, Perdue, former secretary of state Karen Handel, Derrick Grayson and Art Gardner.[5] As the top two candidates, Perdue and Jack Kingston went head to head in the Republican runoff primary on July 22, 2014.[27][6] Georgia law dictates that if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the top two candidates advance to a runoff primary.[8][28]

In an unexpected twist, businessman Perdue defeated Rep. Jack Kingston, a 20 year member of Congress, for the Republican nomination.[2][3]

Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, beat out former state Senator Steen Miles, Branko Radulovacki and Todd Robinson for the Democratic nomination.[5][6] Libertarian candidate Amanda Swafford faced against Nunn and Perdue in the general election.[5] The general election took place November 4, 2014.

U.S. Senate, Georgia Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Perdue 30.6% 185,466
Green check mark transparent.pngJack Kingston 25.8% 156,157
Karen Handel 22% 132,944
Phil Gingrey 10% 60,735
Paul Broun 9.6% 58,297
Derrick Grayson 1% 6,045
Art Gardner 0.9% 5,711
Total Votes 605,355
Source: Georgia Secretary of State
U.S. Senate, Georgia Runoff Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Perdue 50.9% 245,725
Jack Kingston 49.1% 237,193
Total Votes 482,918
Source: Results via Associated Press

Race ratings

WaPo top races

According to an analysis by The Washington Post, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia was considered one of the top 10 Senate races of 2014. Michelle Nunn consistently had competitive polling and fundraising numbers.[29]

The primary for the open seat was also highlighted as one of the top five primaries to watch in 2014.[8]


David Perdue's February 2014 ad, "Outsider."

David Perdue's April 2014 ad, "Bring."

Citizens for a Working America PAC's April 2014 ad on Jack Kingston.
  • Perdue released a five-minute video featuring his Georgia upbringing and business career and his cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue.[30]
    • The ad also featured an image of crying babies wearing shirts and wielding props identifying them as the other four top contenders in the race.[30]
  • Perdue released a follow-up video on April 5, 2014, "Bring." The ad emphasized Perdue’s outsider message.[31]
    • In the ad, Perdue said, "I’ve never run for office, but I have over forty years of experience in the real world. I understand the global free market system, how to generate economic growth, which creates quality jobs. Real change sometimes takes an outside perspective just like it did at Reebok and Dollar General. Fresh eyes, determination and a bucket full of common sense with the right experience. That’s what I’ll bring to the U.S Senate. I’m David Perdue. I approve this message."[31]

The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent $2.5 million on television ad time for Perdue in August 2014.[32]

  • Citizens for a Working America, a South Carolina-based super PAC, released an ad in April 2014 that slammed Jack Kingston as a "career politician" and the "King of earmarks."[33][34][35]
    • "Career politician Jack Kingston's been in Washington over 20 years. So what's he done? Kingston earned the title 'King of Earmarks.' He voted to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on Obama's Cash for Clunkers used car program, and voted to raise the debt ceiling. Kingston even took thousands in pay raises. Now Kingston wants a promotion to the Senate. A promotion? Well, conservatives have message: Hey Jack, you're not going back," the ad said.[33]
    • The group said in a letter authorizing a media company to handle its ad placements in the race that it endorsed Perdue and its communications with the public "will independently advocate for the election of David Perdue and/or for the defeat of his opponents."[36]

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for David Perdue is available dating back to 2014. Based on available campaign finance records, David Perdue raised a total of $13,842,966 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 21, 2015.[37]

David Perdue's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2014 U.S. Senate (Georgia) Won $13,842,966
Grand Total Raised $13,842,966


Perdue won election to the U.S. Senate in 2014. During that election cycle, Perdue's campaign committee raised a total of $13,842,966 and spent $13,796,681.[38] This is more than the average $10.6 million spent by Senate winners in 2014.[39]

Cost per vote

Perdue spent $10.16 per general election vote received in 2014.

U.S. Senate, Georgia, 2014 - David Perdue Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $13,842,966
Total Spent $13,796,681
Total Raised by Election Runner-up $16,080,504
Total Spent by Election Runner-up $16,063,248
Top contributors to David Perdue's campaign committee
Club for Growth$99,252
KPMG LLP$47,200
Synovus Financial Corp$45,100
Wendy's Co$41,500
Koch Industries$38,750
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Securities & Investment$550,282
Real Estate$389,141
Leadership PACs$313,700
Lawyers/Law Firms$260,642

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Perdue's reports.[40]


Perdue is married with two sons.[11] He is a first cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue.[12]

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See also

External links

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  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named rollcall
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Associated Press, "Georgia Election Results," accessed May 20, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Associated Press, "Runoff Primary Results," accessed July 22, 2014
  4. Washington Post, "Saxby Chambliss retiring in 2014," accessed January 25, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Georgia Secretary of State, "Candidate Details," accessed May 18, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Associated Press, "Georgia Election Results," accessed May 20, 2014
  7. The Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014," accessed December 10, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014," accessed December 10, 2013
  9. Georgia Elections, "Calendar," accessed May 21, 2014
  10. Huffington Post, "GOP Candidate David Perdue Makes Last-Ditch Effort To Secure Primary Victory," accessed May 12, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 David Purdue for Senate, "Meet David," accessed March 10, 2014 (dead link)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Daily Kos, "Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Sanford's win makes a Colbert Busch upset possible," accessed May 15, 2013
  13. PR Newswire, "David Perdue to Become Pillowtex Chairman and CEO," accessed August 6, 2014
  14. Atlanta Journal Constitution, "David Perdue’s business background looms large in Senate run," August 8, 2013
  15. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "David Perdue," accessed January 22, 2015
  16. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments of the 114th Congress," accessed February 17, 2015
  17. 17.0 17.1 On The Issues, "David Perdue Vote Match," accessed April 19, 2015
  18. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more restrictive answers.
  19. The Wall Street Journal, "Text of GOP Senators’ Letter to Iran’s Leaders on Nuclear Talks," March 9, 2015
  20. Fox News, "Firestorm erupts over GOP letter challenging Obama's power to approve Iran nuclear deal," March 10, 2015
  21. Ut San Diego, "Traitors or patriots? Senator's letter to Iran creates firestorm," March 11, 2015
  22. Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Key Georgia Senate candidates won’t back Mitch McConnell," accessed August 7, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 Atlanta Journal Constitution, "David Perdue reportedly pledges to be a ‘team player’ for Mitch McConnell," accessed August 7, 2014
  24. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  25. David Perdue for U.S. Senate, "Issues," accessed July 28, 2014 (dead link)
  26. 26.0 26.1 NBC 41, "Georgia Republicans Host Senate Primary Debate," accessed March 10, 2014 (dead link)
  27. Georgia Elections, "Calendar," accessed May 21, 2014
  28. Huffington Post, "GOP Candidate David Perdue Makes Last-Ditch Effort To Secure Primary Victory," accessed May 12, 2014
  29. The Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014," accessed December 10, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Perdue tags Senate rivals as ‘crybabies’; new poll puts Gingrey in front," accessed February 5, 2014
  31. 31.0 31.1 GA Pundit, "David Perdue Senate: Third TV Ad “Bring”," accessed April 8, 2014
  32. Atlanta Journal Constitution, "National Republicans drop $2.5 million on Georgia Senate ads," accessed August 6, 2014
  33. 33.0 33.1 The Hill, "Super-PAC hits Kingston as 'career politician'," accessed April 22, 2014
  34. Huffington Post, "Citizens For A Working America, Shadowy GOP Group With Roots In Virginia, Ohio, And Kentucky, Targets S.C. Democrat," accessed April 22, 2014
  35. Atlanta Journal Constitution, "A new Super PAC salvo against Jack Kingston," accessed April 22, 2014
  36. Washington Post, "Super PAC hitting Kingston says it backs Perdue in Georgia Senate race," accessed April 22, 2014
  37. Open Secrets, "Sen. David Perdue," accessed April 21, 2015
  38. Open Secrets, "David Perdue 2014 Election Cycle," accessed April 13, 2015
  39. Open Secrets, "Winning vs. Spending," accessed April 13, 2015
  40. Federal Election Commission, "David Perdue 2014 Summary reports," accessed November 12, 2013
  41. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed November 12, 2013
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed May 3, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed May 3, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Pre-Primary," accessed October 15, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Saxby Chambliss (R)
U.S. Senate - Georgia
Succeeded by