Political Insider

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SonnyWatch: Perdue to get backup from old Dem pal at Senate hearing

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue is hoping an old Democratic friend from his days in the General Assembly can help boost his bipartisan credentials during his confirmation hearing later this week.

Perdue and his team have tapped current U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, to introduce him ahead of his testimony to the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday morning. It’s akin to an in-person reference at a job interview — one with C-SPAN cameras, about two dozen interviewers and countless reporters on the sidelines.

The two served as Democrats together in the Georgia Senate for eight years before Perdue switched to the GOP in 1998. They spent four more years working together after that in the statehouse.



Team Perdue is hoping that Scott’s public endorsement will show senators that he’s got friends on both sides of the aisle and is willing to work with others to get things done as head of the sprawling Department of Agriculture. The Republican has already won the endorsement and kind words of many Senate Democrats.

Scott, a senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, said he plans to talk about his work with Perdue in the legislature and what the former governor’s appointment could mean for the ag world. “He’s the right person at the right time at the right place,” Scott said Monday.

As an African-American, Scott would also be just the person to field any questions about the flap over Georgia’s 1956 state flag and its Confederate battle emblem. Gov. Roy Barnes' decision to haul it down in 2001 became a crucial part of Perdue’s successful 2002 bid to become the state’s first Republican governor in modern Georgia history.

Perdue’s hearing begins at 10 a.m. Thursday and can be live-streamed on agriculture.senate.gov. Check back to Political Insider for updates throughout the week.

Insiders' Note: This post was ripped from today's Morning Jolt. Read the whole thing here

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.