CEOs in Political Seats Could Be Good for Business

That’s partly because leaders of the new Republican majority in the Senate already have made clear their determination to tack hard in a more free-market direction on issues ranging from the Keystone XL pipeline to deregulation to the fate of Obamacare.

“Perdue focused his message on his success as head of Dollar General and having presided over its turnaround, recent expansion and addition of thousands of jobs nationwide.”

But there’s another reason that CEOs and company owners may be more comfortable with the 114th Congress: who its members will be.

The freshman class of senators will include David Perdue of Georgia, a Republican former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok. A beginner in political campaigning, he surprised experts by winning a July runoff among Republicans for the right to campaign into November. Perdue focused his message on his success as head of Dollar General and having presided over its turnaround, recent expansion and addition of thousands of jobs nationwide. Critics attacked his performance as CEO of a North Carolina textile firm Pillowtex that he had run briefly and that closed shortly after he left in 2003, costing 8,000 jobs, USA Today reported.

His big victory over Democratic candidate Michelle Nunn, a daughter of former iconic Georgia Democratic Senator Sam Nunn, also underscored the size of the Republican wave on election night because conventional expectations were that neither candidate would get more than 50% of the vote that day and so a runoff ballot would be necessary. But Perdue prevailed with 53% to  Nunn’s 45%.

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Dale Buss
Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other top-flight business publications. He lives in Michigan.

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