WARNER ROBINS -- David Perdue returned to the midstate this week to launch the media campaign for his U.S. Senate bid with a new ad called Outsider.
But Perdue, 64, is anything but an outsider to Middle Georgia.
He was born in Macon and grew up in Warner Robins. His first cousin, former Gov. Sonny Perdue of Bonaire, was the keynote speaker at a media event earlier this week. His exposure to children who lived in Germany or Japan, whose families moved to work at Robins Air Force Base, oriented him to a life of living and working in the world.
Perhaps most dramatically, he met his wife at Lindsey Elementary School at a time when his father was principal.
I spent a lot of time sitting in the principals office. That should not happen to any red-blooded American boy, Ill tell you, he said by phone Tuesday.
Now, Perdues campaign is built around the idea of essentially sending the federal government to the principals office.
Perdue, a former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, said the U.S. Senate needs his business experience to teach the country how to grow the economy so it can reverse the deficit and start to erase the debt, now upward of $17 trillion.
In the primary, Perdue is expected to challenge a handful of other Republicans for the seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss, including U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston, and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel.
We have four politicians who have been in office 63 years, he said. Theyve run for office 39 times. I think if they were going to make a difference they would have done so.
Perdue said the U.S. can grow its way out of the deficit, much as Georgias government finances improved a decade ago.
The U.S. government has got to get serious about getting out of the way of small business in America and letting it grow. Thats what it wants to do, he said.
Specifically, he said hed try to let U.S. companies bring home overseas profits without taxation to get more money into the country, invest in two-year technical colleges to get more trained workers into the economy, and lower requirements on how much cash small banks need to keep behind.
Perdue has never held elected office, but his business experience has led him to live and work around the world. He said what he learned in Middle Georgia has carried him through.
If Perdue wins the Republican nomination, he could face someone who also has midstate ties -- Democrat Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn of Perry. Perdue said he loves Nunns family but doesnt think shes had the career to prepare her for the Senate, as he has.
Michelles had a nice career. Weve hired one community organizer already. Hows that working for us? he said.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.