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GA pilot Sonny Perdue confirmed as Agriculture SecretaryGA pilot Sonny Perdue confirmed as Agriculture Secretary

Former Georgia governor and general aviation pilot Sonny Perdue was confirmed April 24 as the Secretary of Agriculture on an 87-11 Senate vote.

Perdue, 70, was named by President Donald Trump on Jan. 19 to oversee the Department of Agriculture’s programs and 100,000 employees.

A veterinarian who was Georgia’s governor from 2003 to 2011, Perdue has been a pilot for about 48 years.

Sonny PerdueA 2009 AOPA "Politicians and Planes" profile of Perdue noted that during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign as a state senator challenging an incumbent governor, he set up his metro Atlanta campaign office at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, and would fly his Bellanca Super Viking to events throughout the state.

“It was a huge advantage being able to get access to the state,” Perdue said at the time, giving his aircraft the nickname of his $22 million Bellanca because it helped him win a $3 million campaign against an opponent who, Perdue said, spent $25 million.

Perdue added turbine flight hours in the state’s twin-turboprop King Air, and a helicopter rating to his pilot credentials during his term of governor.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Pilots

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