WASHINGTON— Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was selected as the “designated survivor” for tonight’s State of the Union address.
The designation fulfills a decades-long tradition to secure one member of the president’s cabinet away from Capitol as a safeguard against a catastrophic attack that could threaten the line of succession.
Perdue, who was governor of Georgia from 2003 through 2011, is ninth in line to assume the presidency under the 1947 Presidential Succession Act. The Senate confirmed him as agriculture secretary last April.
While tonight marks President Donald Trump’s first time delivering the State of the Union address, he previously spoke before a Joint Session of Congress last February.
During that speech, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin was tapped as the designated survivor.