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Report: Trump picks Perdue for agriculture secretary, passing over 4 Texans

By Patrick Svitek

President-elect Donald Trump has picked former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be U.S. agriculture secretary, bypassing four Texans who had been seen as candidates for the job, Fox News reported Wednesday.

Over the past month, Trump and his team had met with four Texans about the post: Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, former Comptroller Susan Combs, former U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-San Antonio, and Elsa Murano, the former president of Texas A&M; University.

Perdue is Trump's last Cabinet pick — and word of it comes two days before the inauguration.

Soon after Trump won the election, the freewheeling Miller was repeatedly mentioned as a contender to take over the $148 billion federal agency that has a hand in crafting and enforcing policies on farming, food and nutrition, land management and rural development. As the weeks passed, several other candidates emerged.


A president has not had an agriculture secretary with strong Texas ties in his cabinet since David F. Houston, a one-time University of Texas president who served under Woodrow Wilson through 1920.

Trump’s Cabinet is still expected to include some Texans. He has tapped Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Irving-based Exxon Mobil, to be secretary of state and former Gov. Rick Perry to be energy secretary. Perry’s confirmation hearing is set for Thursday.

Jim Malewitz contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

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