Perdue Pegged as Prime Pick for Secretary of Agriculture


(Star Tribune) - Sonny Perdue III, a former governor of Georgia, is President-elect Donald Trump’s leading candidate to be U.S. secretary of agriculture, said a person familiar with the matter.

Perdue, 70, would succeed former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. Perdue met with Trump Nov. 30 and afterward said they talked about agricultural commodities traded domestically and internationally. While Perdue is the front-runner, the decision isn’t final, the person said.

Trump won the presidency partly on strong support from voters in rural areas clamoring for an economic turnaround. Farm incomes are expected to fall for a third successive year while debt levels have risen.

Perdue appears to be emerging from a broad pack of candidates. Trump and his aides have interviewed ­several others, including former Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano, former Rep. Henry Bonilla of Texas, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, former Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a Democrat.

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