President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as his nominee for agriculture secretary, according to a transition official and a source close to the process.
This is the last open Cabinet position, although Trump has yet to name a Council of Economic Advisors chair, which is a Cabinet-level position.
The process of selecting an agriculture secretary turned into a marathon, as Trump interviewed many candidates.
Perdue was a favorite among major farmers’ groups and leaders in the Republican establishment.
He got his start in local politics in Georgia as a Democrat, then switched parties and in 2003 he became the first Republican governor of Georgia in a century.
Perdue has a cousin serving in the Senate — Republican David Perdue, also of Georgia.
If confirmed, Perdue will be in charge of several programs that some Republicans in Congress have suggested trimming. These include food aid to the poor, financial aid to farmers, and new school lunch standards.
His selection means Trump’s Cabinet could be the first in 28 years without a Latino member.
Some Republicans had urged the president-elect to pick Abel Maldonado, a former lieutenant governor of California who’s the son of immigrant farm workers.
Perdue is the son of a Georgia farmer and was trained as a veterinarian.