Before Donald Trump, there was David Perdue.
Perdue, a Georgia Republican, became the first Fortune 500 CEO elected to the Senate. While making a name for himself helming companies like Reebok and discount store chain Dollar General, he worked on every continent on the planet except for Antarctica.
Like the president, Perdue had no experience in public office prior to his 2014 election to the Senate. But, similarly to Trump, he is no stranger to the political scene. And, much like Trump, Perdue believes the Washington, DC, system is broken.
The similarities don’t end there. Perhaps what the two men bond over most is golf — Perdue and Trump happen to be two of the best players on the Washington, DC, circuit.
Those characteristics have endeared the first-term senator to the president, who has helped elevate him into a much more important position in the Republican Party. Perdue, once the consummate Washington outsider, now serves as a crucial bridge between Trump’s White House and Republican leadership in the Senate.
“As a business guy, we have a point in commonality,” Perdue said in a recent interview with Business Insider. “Number one, all we want is results. He’s not an ideologue. He has not been up here in the Washington bubble for all these years, fighting these partisan wars. He just wants to get results. I just want to get results.”
Their relationship has led to Perdue being catapulted to the front lines of one of Congress’s biggest battles of 2018 — immigration.
While David Perdue finds himself now occupying important territory in the Senate, running for office wasn’t much of a consideration for him prior to his 2014 bid. When former Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced he would retire, Perdue turned to his cousin, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, to suggest that he make a run at the seat.
But Sonny, who now serves as Trump’s agriculture secretary, turned the tables on his cousin.