Could it be Northey?

Source: By JASON HUFFMAN, Politico • Posted: Monday, May 1, 2017

 One possibility for Perdue’s deputy: Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is said to be in consideration for the number two job at the agency due to his Midwestern roots — balancing out the Secretary’s southern ties — decade of experience running a large government agency and his support from Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). And it seems Northey isn’t opposed to a USDA position. While he told POLITICO that he is proud of his position in Iowa and looking forward to working with Perdue as a state representative, he is “open to considering other roles to serve in as well.”

But Northey is not a done deal yet. Also on the short list for deputy, according to several sources, is Indiana agribusinessman Kip Tom. Tom has been rumored to be eyeing a USDA job and would also check many boxes for the administration. Also a Midwesterner, he is close with Vice President and former Indiana governor Mike Pence and met with the transition team in New York in early January. Meanwhile, in recent weeks has been seen around Washington, including at Perdue’s confirmation hearing. The full story from Pro Agriculture’s Jenny Hopkinson here.

Perdue is staying mum on his plans for a deputy. In Kansas City on Thursday, Harvest Public Media’s Peggy Lowe asked Perdue about Hopkinson’s story.

“Is that what POLITICO said,” Perdue replied, adding jokingly: “You can’t believe what Politico says.”

“That has not been determined,” the secretary said. “Bill Northey is a great guy. He’s been a great state administrator, a great state secretary. We’ve visited a few times. But that decision hasn’t been made. I guess it’s going to happen if POLITICO says so.” (A big thanks to Lowe for asking.)