Governor Sonny Perdue
Georgia's 81st Governor, 2003-2011
Sonny Perdue was sworn in as Georgia's 81st Governor on January 13, 2003. Governor Perdue immediately went to work reforming the state budget, setting priorities, and cutting wasteful spending. His efforts helped stimulate the economy and turn the state budget deficit that he inherited into a substantial surplus. During Perdue's first term, Georgia created over 200,000 new jobs and posted the highest graduation rate and SAT scores in state history. After a first term marked by numerous accomplishments, Governor Perdue won re-election by an overwhelming margin in November 2006.
As Georgia's Governor, Perdue has led the state based on his life experiences prior to entering public service. Sonny was born on December 20, 1946, in Perry, Georgia, to a lifelong farmer and a classroom teacher. He earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine in 1971 from the University of Georgia. Following his service as a Captain in the United States Air Force, Perdue became a successful small business owner, concentrating in agribusiness and transportation. Today, those businesses have grown to include several locations in the southeast.
Perdue campaigned for Governor on a platform of restoring public trust in state government and empowering all Georgians by eliminating undue interference by government bureaucracies. He has dedicated his administration to attracting new businesses and jobs to Georgia, improving the quality of programs that touch the lives of children, and fighting for a comprehensive ethics reform package.
For all of his success in business and public service, Governor Perdue is proudest to serve as devoted husband, loving father, and grandfather. Sonny is married to the former Mary Ruff of Atlanta, Georgia. The couple has four children and eleven grandchildren. Additionally, Sonny and Mary have served as foster parents for eight newborns awaiting adoption. The Perdues attend First Baptist Church of Woodstock, where they have taught a Sunday school class for young couples emphasizing the importance of faith in building a strong and lasting marriage.