SonnyWatch: Democratic ex-agriculture secretary endorses Perdue

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue. AP photo.

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue. AP photo.

Sonny Perdue snagged the endorsement of his Democratic predecessor on Tuesday as he prepares for U.S. Senate confirmation hearings to be Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary.

Ex-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Perdue’s background as a former Republican governor helped prepare him for the “opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities.”

The Trump administration said Perdue is the only Cabinet nominee to secure the support of his predecessor in the Obama White House.

“Coming from Georgia he knows the importance of maintaining healthy forests so he will be supportive of the Forest Service in its mission of protecting and restoring our forests,” said Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who headed the agriculture department for eight years under Obama.

“As a former governor he will understand and pay attention to the many and varied interests that depend on the department including efforts to provide all of us and especially our children with safe, nutritious and affordable food.”

 



 

Perdue, 70, was nominated to Trump’s Cabinet just hours before his inauguration. If confirmed, he will run a sprawling $140 billion department that sets the nation’s rural agenda and oversees its food stamp programs.

Here’s the full Vilsack statement:

“I have had the opportunity to work with Governor Perdue and know how committed he is to all of our farmers, ranchers and producers regardless of size or production method expand markets here and throughout the world. As a former governor, he knows full well the opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities. He will, I am sure, work hard to expand opportunity in rural America.

 

“Coming from Georgia he knows the importance of maintaining healthy forests so he will be supportive of the Forest Service in its mission of protecting and restoring our forests. As a former governor he will understand and pay attention to the many and varied interests that depend on the department including efforts to provide all of us and especially our children with safe, nutritious and affordable food.

 

“Finally, his familiarity with our great Land Grant University system, including Minority serving institutions, place him in a good place to advocate for the work at those colleges and universities in research and the development of the next generation of farmers, ranchers and producers.”

 


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