Texas Governor Rick Perry, the nation's longest-serving governor and a failed contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination that earned him the nickname 'Governor Oops' anounced today at a press conference that he will not run for governor again. He plans to step down at the end of his third gubernatorial term, which ends in 2014.
For those who have been on pins and needles waiting for Rick Perry's anouncement of his “exciting future plans” the wait is over. Texas pols & pundents have been laying odds on just what this anouncement might be. Texas on the Potomac gave the odds to be (3:2 odds, 40 percent probability) that he would choose not to run for re-election as governor, and say he’s contemplating a presidential run. They gave (4:1 odds, 20 percent probability) that he would run for a fourth full term as governor, although they couched these odds by saying "Predicting Rick Perry’s future is more risky than wearing burnt orange to an Aggie bonfire".
Perry invited supporters, former staffers and members of the “Perry family” during his 29 years in elective office in Texas to attend the event. He chose Holt Cat, the largest Caterpillar equipment dealership in San Antonio, as the backdrop to announce “exciting future plans” to underscore the economic prosperity of the state under his decade-long tenure as governor.
Holt Cat is headed by Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs and one of Perry’s biggest political contributors. Holt has given Perry more than $680,000 in campaign contributions since 2000.
Perry has boasted of his administration’s success attracting business to Texas and Caterpillar is part of the governor’s political success story. In 2009, he announced a Caterpillar engine assembly plant would be built in Seguin. The company received local tax abatements and $10 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund, the governor’s business-subsidy fund.
The timing of his announcement comes shortly after he rehired his former presidential campaign communications director Mark Miner, and as Perry is locked in a heated battle with Texas Democrats over restrictions on abortion.
Meanwhile, in Austin, the Senate Health and Human Services committee met to hear testimony on SB1, the back-door abortion ban currently being forced through by Texas Republicans after Perry called a speciall session soon after Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the measure in the previous session and became a national star.