Our Georgia History

Sonny Perdue
December 20, 1946 George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III born, Perry, Georgia
  Sonny Perdue
November 5, 2002 Georgia elects Sonny Perdue as its first Republican governor since 1872
  Sonny Perdue
January 13, 2003 Sonny Perdue's inauguration as governor of Georgia
  Sonny Perdue
May 7, 2004 Sonny Perdue orders a state of emergency in Georgia related to the G-8 Summit to be held on Sea Island. The order covered 6 Georgia counties, Chatham, Bryan, Libery, McIntosh, Glynn and Camden.
  Glynn County, Georgia
  McIntosh County, Georgia
  Liberty County, Georgia
  Bryan County, Georgia
  Chatham County, Georgia
  Camden County, Georgia
  Sonny Perdue
May 11, 2005 Governor Sonny Perdue signs state-wide smoking ban.
  Sonny Perdue
September 23, 2005 In advance of Hurricane Rita striking the Texas coast, Gov. Sonny Perdue asks school systems to close for two day to minimize the impact of the storm on oil and gas supplies
  Sonny Perdue

As Georgia's first popularly elected Republican Governor since Rufus Bulloch (1868-1871), Sonny Perdue represents a change from the status quo of a Democratic stronghold on the executive (and legislative) branches of government. He campaigned on a platform highlighting Roy Barnes' education record, the handling of kid's in state custody and Georgia's economic development.

After serving in the Air Force during Vietnam, Perdue returned to his Houstoun County home to concentrate on developing a variety of small businesses. He became a veterinarian and built an agri-business with his wife's brother, successfully expanding into the trucking business. After serving in local positions, Sonny was tapped by Democrats to run for the state senate. He won the election and rapidly advanced to president pro tem and other positions. In 1998 Perdue switched parties, gaining re-election as a Republican.

Incumbent Roy Barnes was heavily favored to win the 2002 Georgia gubernatorial election, and outspent Perdue 7 to 1. Sonny scored big with conservative and moderate Democrats by attacking Barnes for pushing legislation to change the controversial state flag and refusing a referendum, and Georgia's drop to 50th in SAT scores shortly before the election seriously eroded their support of Barnes.

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