Texas Governor Rick Perry announced today that he would not seek an unprecedented 4th term today at an event in San Antonio. As far as his career goes, he served Texas well. He is human, after all, and made mistakes along the way, and some unforced errors, but over all, he was vastly superior not only to each of the Democrats who challenged him, but superior as well to many Republicans who explored the possibility of challenging him for the office, with former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison being his most recent opponent.
He will go down in Texas history as one of her most effective and impressive chief executives, given that the Governorship in Texas is a significantly weaker position in comparison to the Lieutenant Governor, a post currently held by David Dewhurst. Perry solidified his position by appointing nearly every non-electoral position in government currently held by a Republican, forging a position of vast strength where weakness would be the norm.
Next is the first open race for Texas governor since 1990, making current Attorney General Greg Abbott the instant favorite to replace him. “I remain excited about the future and the challenges ahead, but the time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership,” Perry said. “Today I am announcing I will not seek re-election as governor of Texas. I will spend the next 18 months working to create more jobs, opportunity and innovation. I will actively lead this great state.”
From the Texas Tribune: “Perry, who will have been in office for more than 13 years when he departs in January, leaves behind a long and colorful legacy at the helm of state government and the GOP political establishment. A former Texas House member and state agriculture commissioner, Perry was elected lieutenant governor in 1998. He became governor on Dec. 21, 2000, when George W. Bush resigned to become president. Perry is now the longest continuously serving governor in the United States and the longest-serving governor in Texas history by far.
He survived tough political scrapes, too. In 2006, Perry limped to victory in a five-way race with just 39 percent of the vote. For that the Democrats called him “Gov. 39 Percent,” though the name didn’t stick. A few years later, Perry made up a 20-point deficit in the polls and easily defeated Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary.
Perry said Monday that he approached the decision not to run for governor again “with a deep sense of humility and appreciation, knowing I will truly miss serving in this capacity because it is the greatest job in modern politics.”
Thank you, Governor Perry for all you did for Texas and the nation. You helped create the most dynamic state in America, a job engine that shows other states how to bring business and the people together to create an environment of prosperity while still respecting Texan values. Even while growing Texas into the American powerhouse it has become, you have worked to maintain the health of the environment, foster a growing culture of life, and bring integrity back to elections, setting a model for all of America. You showed all of us that a Chief Executive could lead effectively and still respect the people. Heckuva job, Guv.