Perry: Not Running for Governor in 2014
The wait is over: This afternoon, Gov. Rick Perry announced he will not be running for re-election in 2014. So what is he doing? No word yet, but his San Antonio declaration inevitably reshaped the Texas political landscape.
The former Democratic state rep turned Republican governor will wrap up his current four year term in 2014. That will only further re-enforce his record as the longest-serving governor in Texas history (currently standing at 13 years) but short of Iowa governor Terry Branstad's record (18 years and counting.) In his statement, Perry said that he "will spend the next 18 months working to create more Texas jobs, opportunity and innovation."
And after that? No confirmation of plans about retirement, or the rumored possible second run for the Republican nomination for president. He simply said, "I will work to actively lead this great state. And I will also pray, reflect and work to determine my own future path."
This puts a mild spanner in the works for Tom Pauken, the former Texas Workforce Commission chair who had set up his stall to run against Perry as the GOP nominee for governor. Now, as he stated in his response to Perry's departure, he will presumably run against Attorney General Greg Abbott, the super-religious super-conservative who has been setting up his run for governor for the last decade. Damning Perry with faint praise, Pauken wrote, "He has made a significant contribution to Texas history and will not soon be forgotten."
Rep. Mike Villareal, D-San Antonio, chimed in to thank Perry for his service, but wrote "unfortunately, his legacy will be one of cutting education funding, pushing more testing into our classrooms, and promoting issues that divide Texans rather than bringing us together."
More responses as they arrive.