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Ga. Gov.-Elect Plans Staff Shake-up

November 21, 2002

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ATLANTA (AP) _ Gov.-elect Sonny Perdue, slated to become the state’s first Republican governor in 130 years, on Thursday asked all state department heads to resign and reapply if they want to work in his administration.

Major shake-ups have been rare in Georgia state government, where Democrats have been in control for the past century.

That changes in January, when Perdue takes office. As governor, he will have the power to make more than 1,000 appointments and can influence most of the rest. Republicans also took control of the Senate when four Democrats switched parties following the election. Democrats retained control of the House.

Perdue spokesman Dan McLagan said Thursday that the wholesale request for resignations was ``fairly standard practice.″

``It just allows us to evaluate applicants from across the spectrum of public and private,″ he said.

Some of the department heads likely will stay on, said Eric Tanenblatt, Perdue’s transition adviser. ``There are some very talented people in state government,″ he said. ``He’s not coming in here and telling everyone who worked in the current administration they don’t have a job.″

Perdue also tried to reassure the state department heads at a meeting Thursday.

``I assure you that I don’t care whether you have an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ behind your name,″ he said.

Perdue’s transition office had received more than 400 resumes since it opened last week, Tanenblatt said.

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