Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Rick Perry

Rick Perry

Overview
James Richard "Rick" Perry (born March 4, 1950) is the 47th and current Governor of Texas
Governor of Texas
The governor of Texas is the head of the executive branch of Texas's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Texas Legislature, and to convene the legislature...

. A Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas
Lieutenant Governor of Texas
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the...

 in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when then-governor George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 resigned to become President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. Perry was elected to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010. With a tenure in office to date of , Perry is the longest continuously serving current U.S.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Rick Perry'
Start a new discussion about 'Rick Perry'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
James Richard "Rick" Perry (born March 4, 1950) is the 47th and current Governor of Texas
Governor of Texas
The governor of Texas is the head of the executive branch of Texas's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Texas Legislature, and to convene the legislature...

. A Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas
Lieutenant Governor of Texas
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the...

 in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when then-governor George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 resigned to become President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. Perry was elected to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010. With a tenure in office to date of , Perry is the longest continuously serving current U.S. governor, and the second longest serving current U.S. governor after Terry Branstad of Iowa. Perry served as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association
Republican Governors Association
The Republican Governors Association is a Washington, D.C.-based 527 organization founded in 1963, consisting of U.S. state and territorial governors affiliated with the Republican Party.Its Democratic Party counterpart is the Democratic Governors Association...

 in 2008 (succeeding Sonny Perdue
Sonny Perdue
George Ervin "Sonny" Perdue III, was the 81st Governor of Georgia. Upon his inauguration in January 2003, he became the first Republican governor of Georgia since Benjamin F. Conley served during Reconstruction in the 1870s....

 of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

) and again in 2011. Perry is the longest serving governor in Texas state history. As a result, he is the only governor in modern Texas history to have appointed at least one person to every eligible state office, board, or commission position (as well as to several elected offices to which the governor can appoint someone to fill an unexpired term, such as six of the nine current members of the Texas Supreme Court
Texas Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Texas is the court of last resort for non-criminal matters in the state of Texas. A different court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is the court of last resort for criminal matters.The Court is composed of a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices...

).

Perry won the Texas 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary election
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

, defeating U.S. Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Kay Bailey Hutchison
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Kathryn Ann Bailey Hutchison, known as Kay Bailey Hutchison , is the senior United States Senator from Texas.She is a member of the Republican Party. In 2001, she was named one of the thirty most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal. The first woman to represent Texas in the U.S....

 and former Wharton County Republican Party Chairwoman and businesswoman Debra Medina
Debra Medina
Debra Medina was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election. She participated in the January 14 televised debate with incumbent Governor Rick Perry and challenger U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison...

. In the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election
Texas gubernatorial election, 2010
The 2010 Texas gubernatorial election was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, to elect the Governor of Texas, who will serve a four-year term beginning on January 18, 2011, and ending on January 20, 2015. Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry ran successfully for re-election to a third term. He...

, Perry won a third term by defeating former Houston mayor Bill White and Kathie Glass.

On August 13, 2011, Perry announced in South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 that he was running for the Republican nomination
Republican Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2012
The 2012 Republican presidential primaries are the selection processes in which voters of the Republican Party will choose their nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 presidential election. The primary contest began with a fairly wide field, and is the first presidential primary...

 for President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 in the 2012 presidential election
United States presidential election, 2012
The United States presidential election of 2012 is the next United States presidential election, to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which presidential electors, who will actually elect the President and the Vice President of the United...

.

Early life, education, and military service


A fifth-generation Texan, Perry was born in Paint Creek
Paint Creek, Texas
Paint Creek is an unincorporated community in southeast Haskell County, Texas, United States, in north central Texas.It is named after the nearby stream, which Stamford Dam impounds 8 miles to the east of the community to form Lake Stamford. In 2011, press reports indicated Haskell County had a...

, about 60 miles (96.6 km) north of Abilene
Abilene, Texas
Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in west central Texas. The population was 117,063 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Abilene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2006 estimated population of 158,063. It is the county seat of Taylor County...

 in West Texas
West Texas
West Texas is a vernacular term applied to a region in the southwestern quadrant of the United States that primarily encompasses the arid and semi-arid lands in the western portion of the state of Texas....

, to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt. Perry's ancestry is almost entirely English, going back to the original thirteen colonies. His great-great-great-grandfather was said to be a Choctaw Native American. His family has been in Texas since before the Texan Revolution.

His father, a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, was a long-time Haskell County
Haskell County, Texas
As of the census of 2000, 6,093 people, 2,569 households, and 1,775 families resided in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile . There were 3,555 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile...

 commissioner and school board member. Perry has said that his interest in politics probably began in November 1961, when his father took him to the funeral of U.S. Representative Sam Rayburn
Sam Rayburn
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn , often called "Mr. Sam," or "Mr. Democrat," was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham, Texas, who served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for seventeen years, the longest tenure in U.S. history.- Background :Rayburn was born in Roane County, Tennessee, and...

 (D-TX), who during his long public career served as speaker
Speaker (politics)
The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the...

 of the Texas House for a short time at the age of 29 and then later for 17 years as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Perry was in the Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

 (BSA) and earned the rank of Eagle Scout
Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America)
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America . A Scout who attains this rank is called an Eagle Scout or Eagle. Since its introduction in 1911, the Eagle Scout rank has been earned by more than 2 million young men...

; his son, Griffin, would later become an Eagle Scout as well. The BSA has honored Perry with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award is a distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America . It is awarded to an Eagle Scout for distinguished service in his profession and to his community for a period of at least 25 years after attaining the level of Eagle Scout...

.

Perry graduated from Paint Creek High School
Paint Creek Independent School District
Paint Creek Independent School District is a public school district based in the community of Paint Creek in unincorporated Haskell County, Texas...

 in 1968. He then attended Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University is a coeducational public research university located in College Station, Texas . It is the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The sixth-largest university in the United States, A&M's enrollment for Fall 2011 was over 50,000 for the first time in school...

, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets
Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets
The Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets is a student military organization at Texas A&M University...

, a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho
Alpha Gamma Rho
Alpha Gamma Rho is a social-professional fraternity in the United States, with 75 university chapters including chapter in Mindanao State University, Philippines...

 fraternity, was elected senior class social secretary, and was also elected as one of A&M's five yell leaders (a popular Texas A&M tradition analogous to male cheerleaders). Perry graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 in animal science
Animal science
Animal Science is described as "studying the biology of animals that are under the control of mankind". Historically, the animals studied were farm animals, including livestock and horses, but courses available now look at a far broader area to include companion animals, for example dogs, cats and...

 with a 2.5 GPA.

Perry said that the Corps of Cadets gave him the discipline to complete his animal sciences degree and earn a commission in the Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

. In a 1989 interview he said that "I was probably a bit of a free spirit, not particularly structured real well for life outside of a military regime, I would have not lasted at Texas Tech or the University of Texas. I would have hit the fraternity scene and lasted about one semester." Perry was a prankster in college: he once placed live chickens in the closet of an upperclassman during Christmas break and used M-80 firecrackers
M-80 (explosive)
M-80s are a class of large firecrackers, sometimes called salutes. The Simulator, Artillery, M80, was originally made in the early 20th century by the U.S. Military to simulate explosives or artillery fire; Later, M-80s were manufactured as fireworks...

 to prank students using the toilet.

In the early 1970s, Perry interned during several summers with the Southwestern Company
Southwestern Company
Southwestern Company recruits and trains college students to sell educational reference books, software, and children's books door-to-door. Students participating in the Southwestern program are independent contractors, not employees of the company, purchasing books at wholesale from the company...

, as a door-to-door book salesman. "I count my time working for Dortch Oldham [President of the Southwestern Company] as one of the most important formative experiences of my life," Perry said in 2010. "There is nothing that tests your commitment to a goal like getting a few doors closed in your face." He said that "Mr. Oldham taught legions of young people to communicate quickly, clearly and with passion, a lesson that has served me well in my life since then."

Upon graduation, Perry was commissioned in the Air Force, completed pilot training, and flew C-130 tactical airlift in the United States, the Middle East, and Europe until 1977. He left the Air Force with the rank of captain, returned to Texas, and went into business farming cotton with his father.

Texas Legislature


In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives
Texas House of Representatives
The Texas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Texas Legislature. The House is composed of 150 members elected from single-member districts across the state. The average district has about 150,000 people. Representatives are elected to two-year terms with no term limits...

 as a Democrat from district 64, which included his home county of Haskell
Haskell County, Texas
As of the census of 2000, 6,093 people, 2,569 households, and 1,775 families resided in the county. The population density was 7 people per square mile . There were 3,555 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile...

. He served on the House Appropriations and Calendars committees during his three two-year terms in office. He befriended fellow freshman state representative Lena Guerrero
Lena Guerrero
Lena Guerrero Aguirre, known as Lena Guerrero , was the first woman and the first person of ethnic minority background to have served on the Texas Railroad Commission, an elected body which currently regulates the oil and natural gas industry. In 1992, her once promising political career ended over...

 of Austin
Austin
Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas.Austin may also refer to:-In the United States:*Austin, Arkansas*Austin, Colorado*Austin, Chicago, Illinois*Austin, Indiana*Austin, Minnesota*Austin, Nevada*Austin, Oregon...

, a staunch liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 Democrat who endorsed Perry's reelection bid in 2006 on personal, rather than philosophical, grounds.

Perry was part of the "Pit Bulls", a group of Appropriations members who sat on the lower dais in the committee room (or "pit") who pushed for austere state budgets during the 1980s. At one point, The Dallas Morning News
The Dallas Morning News
The Dallas Morning News is the major daily newspaper serving the Dallas, Texas area, with a circulation of 264,459 subscribers, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported in September 2010...

 named him one of the ten most effective members of the legislature.

In 1987, Perry voted for a $5.7 billion tax increase proposed by Republican governor Bill Clements
Bill Clements
William Perry "Bill" Clements, Jr. was the 42nd and 44th Governor of Texas, serving from 1979 to 1983 and 1987 to 1991. Clements was the first Republican to have served as governor of the U.S. state of Texas since Reconstruction...

. Perry supported Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 in the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries
Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 1988
The 1988 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1988 U.S. presidential election...

 and worked in an unspecified capacity for Gore's campaign in Texas.. In 1989, Perry announced that he was switching parties
Party switching in the United States
In the United States politics, party switching is any change in party affiliation of a partisan public figure, usually one who is currently holding elected office...

, becoming a Republican.

Agriculture Commissioner


In 1990, as a newly minted Republican, Perry challenged Jim Hightower
Jim Hightower
James Allen "Jim" Hightower is an American syndicated columnist, activist and author.-Life and career:Born in Denison, Texas, Hightower came from a working class background. He worked his way through college as assistant general manager of the Denton Chamber of Commerce and later landed a spot as...

, the incumbent
Incumbent
The incumbent, in politics, is the existing holder of a political office. This term is usually used in reference to elections, in which races can often be defined as being between an incumbent and non-incumbent. For example, in the 2004 United States presidential election, George W...

 Democratic Agriculture Commissioner. Hightower had worked on behalf of Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

 for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988, while Perry had supported U.S. Senator Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 of Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

.

During 1990, Hightower's office was embroiled in a FBI investigation into corruption and bribery. Three aides were convicted in 1993 of using public funds for political fundraising, although Hightower himself was not found to be involved in the wrongdoings. Perry narrowly defeated Hightower in November 1990.

As Agriculture Commissioner, Perry was responsible for promoting the sale of Texas farm produce to other states and foreign nations, and for supervising the calibration of weights and measures, such as gasoline
Gasoline
Gasoline , or petrol , is a toxic, translucent, petroleum-derived liquid that is primarily used as a fuel in internal combustion engines. It consists mostly of organic compounds obtained by the fractional distillation of petroleum, enhanced with a variety of additives. Some gasolines also contain...

 pumps and grocery store
Grocery store
A grocery store is a store that retails food. A grocer, the owner of a grocery store, stocks different kinds of foods from assorted places and cultures, and sells these "groceries" to customers. Large grocery stores that stock products other than food, such as clothing or household items, are...

 scales.

In April 1993, Perry, while serving as Texas agriculture commissioner, expressed support for the effort to reform the nation's health care, describing it as "most commendable". The health care plan, first revealed in September, was ultimately unsuccessful due to Republican congressional opposition. In 2005, after being questioned on the issue by a potential opponent in the Republican governor primary, Perry said that he expressed his support only in order to get Clinton to pay more attention to rural health care.

In 1994, Perry was reelected Agriculture Commissioner by a large margin, getting 2,546,287 votes (62 percent) to Democrat Marvin Gregory's 1,479,692 (36 percent). Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

 Clyde L. Garland received the remaining 85,836 votes (2 percent). Gregory, a chicken farmer from Sulphur Springs, Texas
Sulphur Springs, Texas
Sulphur Springs is a city in Hopkins County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 14,551. It is the county seat of Hopkins County.-Geography:Sulphur Springs is located at ....

, was on the Texas Agricultural Finance Authority with Perry in the early nineties, as a Republican. He became a Democrat before running against Perry in 1994.

Lieutenant Governor


In 1998, Perry chose not to seek a third term as Agriculture Commissioner, running instead for Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant Governor of Texas
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the...

 to succeed the retiring Democrat Bob Bullock
Bob Bullock
Robert Douglas Bullock, known as Bob Bullock , was a Democratic politician from Texas, whose career spanned four decades. His service culminated in his term as Lieutenant Governor of Texas from January 15, 1991–January 19, 1999 during the terms of Governors Ann Richards and George W...

. During this election, Rick Perry had a notable falling out
Feud between Karl Rove and Rick Perry
Top George W. Bush consultant Karl Rove and Texas Governor Rick Perry have a widely-reported and longstanding feud that originated in 1998 and has extended to open hostility among top campaign operatives in both camps, and even resulted in top Bush allies openly campaigning against Perry in his...

 with his previous top political strategist Karl Rove
Karl Rove
Karl Christian Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush until Rove's resignation on August 31, 2007. He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives...

, which began the much-reported rivalry between the Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and Perry camps. Perry polled 1,858,837 votes (50.04 percent) to the 1,790,106 (48.19 percent) cast for Democrat John Sharp
John Sharp (Texas politician)
John Sharp is the former Democratic Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, having held the office from 1991 to 1999. He is currently a principal in the Austin office of the Dallas-based Ryan & Company, a tax consulting firm. In 2005, he was appointed to serve as Chair of the Texas Tax Reform...

 of Victoria
Victoria, Texas
Victoria is a city in and the seat of Victoria County, Texas, United States. The population was 60,603 at the 2000 census. The three counties of the Victoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 111,163 at the 2000 census,...

, who had relinquished the Comptroller's
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is an executive branch position created by the Texas Constitution. As with nearly every other executive branch head, the Comptroller is popularly elected every four years concurrently with the Governor and the other elected executive branch positions...

 position after two terms to seek the lieutenant governorship. Libertarian
Libertarian Party of Texas
The Libertarian Party of Texas is the state affiliate of the Libertarian Party in Texas, USA. The state chair is Patrick Dixon.- Overview :In 1971, Texas was one of the 13 original founding state parties at the first LP convention in Denver, Colorado...

 Anthony Garcia polled another 65,150 votes (1.75 percent). Perry thus became the state's first Republican lieutenant governor since Reconstruction, taking office on January 19, 1999, until he assumed the governorship on December 21, 2000 following the resignation of then-Governor George W. Bush.

Governor of Texas



Perry assumed the office of Governor in late 2000, following the resignation of President-elect George W. Bush. He won the office in his own right in the 2002 gubernatorial election
Texas gubernatorial election, 2002
The 2002 Texas gubernatorial election was held on November 5, 2002 to select the governor of the state of Texas. The election was won by Rick Perry, candidate of the Republican Party.Incumbent Rick Perry became governor after Gov.George W. Bush became President in 2000. He was elected Lieutenant...

, where he received 57.80% of votes to businessman Tony Sanchez's 39.96%. He was re-elected in the 2006 gubernatorial election
Texas gubernatorial election, 2006
The 2006 Texas gubernatorial election was held on November 7, 2006 to select the next governor of the state of Texas, who is serving a four year term that began on January 16, 2007. The Republican and Democratic Parties chose their candidates by primaries and convention. Primaries were held on...

 against three major opponents, polling 39% of votes against runner-up Chris Bell
Chris Bell (politician)
Robert Christopher "Chris" Bell is a Democratic Party politician. He last served as a one-term congressman in the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 25th congressional district in Houston from 2003 to 2005 before being defeated in the Democratic primary by Justice of the Peace Al...

 with 29.8%. In the 2010 gubernatorial election
Texas gubernatorial election, 2010
The 2010 Texas gubernatorial election was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, to elect the Governor of Texas, who will serve a four-year term beginning on January 18, 2011, and ending on January 20, 2015. Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry ran successfully for re-election to a third term. He...

, Perry became the first Texas governor to be elected to three four-year terms, polling 54.97% of votes to Bill White's 42.48%.

In his three gubernatorial campaigns, Perry received hard-money campaign contributions of $102 million, half of which came from 204 donors.

In the 2001 legislative session, Perry set a record for his use of the veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

, rejecting 82 acts, more than
any other governor in any single legislative session in the history of the state since Reconstruction.

Fiscal policies


In his presidential campaign, Perry has highlighted the economic success Texas achieved under his governorship, although the true success of his policies has been questioned. A proclaimed proponent of fiscal conservatism, Perry has often campaigned on job growth and tax issues, such as his opposition to creating a state income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

. Perry refused in 2002 to promise not to raise taxes as governor, and in the following years did propose or approve various tax and debt increases. In 2009, Perry signed Grover Norquist
Grover Norquist
Grover Glenn Norquist is an American lobbyist, conservative activist, and founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform...

's pledge to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes".

Texas began borrowing money in 2003 to pay for roads and will owe $17.3 billion by the end of 2012, increasing total state debt, from $13.4 billion in 2001 to $37.8 billion in 2011.The state's public finance authority sold $2 billion in bonds for unemployment benefits, and it's authorized to sell $1.5 billion more if necessary.
Texas federal borrowing topped $1.6 billion in October 2010, before the bond sales. Texans voted November 8, 2011 for a Water Works Bill with an additional $6 billion of debt and against new tax breaks for landowners. A Republican on the Natural Resources Committee laments “we couldn’t get the votes” which would break Perry's pledge not to raise taxes.

In 2003, Perry signed legislation that created the Texas Enterprise Fund
Texas Enterprise Fund
The Texas Enterprise Fund is a business incentive fund that was created by legislation in 2003. The fund, which had an initial $295 million investment, is used for ensuring the growth of business in Texas...

, which has since given $435 million in grants to businesses. The New York Times reported that many of the companies receiving grants, or their chief executives, have made contributions to Perry's campaigns or to the Republican Governors Association.

Health


As Governor, Perry has been an outspoken opponent of federal health-care reform proposals and of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law is the principal health care reform legislation of the 111th United States Congress...

, describing the latter as "socialism on American soil". Perry's focus in Texas has been on tort reform
Tort reform
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in common law civil justice systems that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to...

, signing a bill in 2003 which restricted non-economic damages in medical malpractice
Medical malpractice
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Standards and...

 judgments. Perry has touted this approach in his Presidential campaign, although independent analysts have concluded that it has failed to increase the supply of physicians or limit health-care costs in Texas.

During Perry's governorship, Texas rose from second to first among states with the highest proportion of uninsured residents at 26%, and has the lowest level of access to prenatal care. Perry and the Republican-led state legislature have cut Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

 spending and made it more difficult to enroll in the program, which currently covers one-third of Texas children. The cost of caring for uninsured Texans has been borne by those with insurance, leading to substantial rises in insurance premiums and leading Texas to rank next-to-last among states in terms of affordability of health insurance. The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 wrote that under Perry, "working Texans increasingly have been priced out of private healthcare while the state's safety net has withered."

Perry's office has argued that Texas represents a model private-sector approach to health-care. His spokeswoman stated that "Texas does provide an adequate safety net to those truly in need... and many individuals simply choose not to purchase healthcare coverage."

Perry is pro-life
Pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

 and has signed multiple bills creating new rules or restrictions for abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 procedures and funding for such. These bills include a May 2010 law requiring that a sonogram
Sonogram
A sonogram may refer to the following:* A diagnostic medical image created using ultrasound echo equipment, see medical ultrasonography...

 be performed prior to every abortion, and that the practitioner discuss the sonogram images with the patient except in limited cases where the patient may waive the explanation.

In February 2007, Perry issued an executive order mandating that Texas girls receive the HPV vaccine
HPV vaccine
The human papilloma virus vaccine prevents infection with certain species of human papillomavirus associated with the development of cervical cancer, genital warts, and some less common cancers...

, which protects against some strains of the human papilloma virus, a contributing factor to some forms of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is malignant neoplasm of the cervix uteri or cervical area. One of the most common symptoms is abnormal vaginal bleeding, but in some cases there may be no obvious symptoms until the cancer is in its advanced stages...

. Following the move, news outlets reported various apparent financial connections between Perry and the vaccine's manufacturer, Merck
Merck
Merck may refer to:* Merck KGaA, , a German-based chemical and pharmaceutical company.** Merck Serono , the pharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA...

. Merck's political action committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

 has contributed $28,500 since 2001 to Perry's campaigns. The order was criticized by some parents and social conservatives, and a lawsuit was filed later that month. In May 2007, the Texas Legislature passed a bill undoing the order; Perry did not veto the bill, saying the veto would have been overruled, but blamed lawmakers who supported the bill for the deaths of future cancer victims.

Religion


Perry grew up in the Methodist church, until 2010 when he began attending Lake Hills Church in Austin. In 2006, Perry stated that he believes in the inerrancy of the Bible
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

 and that those who do not accept Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 as their savior will go to hell. He later clarified, "I don't know that there's any human being that has the ability to interpret what God and his final decision-making is going to be." In his 2008 book On My Honor, Perry expressed his views on the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. "Let's be clear: I don't believe government, which taxes people regardless of their faith, should espouse a specific faith. I also don't think we should allow a small minority of atheists to sanitize our civil dialogue on religious references." In June 2011, Perry proclaimed August 6 as a Day of Prayer and Fasting
Fasting
Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

, inviting other governors to join him in a prayer meeting hosted by the American Family Association
American Family Association
The American Family Association is a 501 non-profit organization that promotes conservative Christian values, such as opposition to same-sex marriage, pornography, and abortion, as well as other public policy goals such as deregulation of the oil industry and lobbying against the Employee Free...

 in Houston. The event was criticized as going beyond prayer and fasting to include launching Perry's presidential campaign.

Perry has called himself "a firm believer in intelligent design
Intelligent design
Intelligent design is the proposition that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." It is a form of creationism and a contemporary adaptation of the traditional teleological argument for...

 as a matter of faith and intellect", and has expressed support for its teaching alongside evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 in Texas schools, but has also said that "educators and local school officials, not the governor, should determine science curriculum."

Education


Perry has repeatedly attacked the Robin Hood plan
Robin Hood plan
The Robin Hood plan was a media nickname given to legislation enacted by the U.S. state of Texas in 1993 to provide court-mandated equitable school financing for all school districts in the state...

 to provide court-mandated equitable school financing for all school districts in the state. In 2005, following rejection of Perry's proposal to replace the Robin Hood plan, Perry vetoed all funding for public schools for the 2007–2008 biennium, saying he would not "approve an education budget that shortchanges teacher salary increases, textbooks, education technology, and education reforms. And I cannot let $2 billion sit in some bank account when it can go directly to the classroom." Following a second rejection of Perry's bill, Perry asked John Sharp
John Sharp (Texas politician)
John Sharp is the former Democratic Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, having held the office from 1991 to 1999. He is currently a principal in the Austin office of the Dallas-based Ryan & Company, a tax consulting firm. In 2005, he was appointed to serve as Chair of the Texas Tax Reform...

 to head a task force charged with preparing a bipartisan education plan, which was subsequently adopted.

In 2001, Perry expressed his pride in the enactment of the statute extending in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants who meet Texas' residency requirements. It also required the undocumented students to pledge to apply for permanent residency or citizenship if this became a possibility for them.

Crime


Perry's campaigns for lieutenant governor and governor focused on a tough stance on crime
Law and order (politics)
In politics, law and order refers to demands for a strict criminal justice system, especially in relation to violent and property crime, through harsher criminal penalties...

. He has supported block grant
Block grant
In a fiscal federal form of government, a block grant is a large sum of money granted by the national government to a regional government with only general provisions as to the way it is to be spent...

s for crime programs.

Jeff L. Blackburn, chief counsel of the Innocence Project of Texas
Innocence Project of Texas
-Organization:The Innocence Project of Texas was founded in 2007 by the directors of several independent actual innocence organizations in the State of Texas. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions, and it is staffed by students, volunteers, dedicated...

, said of Perry that "He has done more good than any other governor we've ever had".

In 2007, Perry signed a law ending automatic arrest for marijuana possession.

Death penalty


Perry supports the death penalty. In June 2002, he vetoed a ban on the execution of mentally retarded
Mental retardation
Mental retardation is a generalized disorder appearing before adulthood, characterized by significantly impaired cognitive functioning and deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors...

 inmates. As of August 10, 2011, Texas has carried out 234 executions since Rick Perry became governor. Cases in which Perry has been criticized for his lack of intervention include those of Cameron Todd Willingham, Frances Newton
Frances Newton
Frances Elaine Newton was executed by lethal injection in the state of Texas for the April 7, 1987 murder of her husband, Adrian, 23, her son, Alton, 7, and daughter, Farrah, 21 months....

, and Mexican nationals José Medellín
José Medellín
José Ernesto Medellín, born in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, was a Mexican national who was executed for the murder of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña in Texas in the United States....

 and Humberto Leal Garcia
Humberto Leal Garcia
Humberto Leal García, Jr. was a Mexican inmate on death row in the U.S. state of Texas for the May 21, 1994, rape, torture, and murder of Adria Sauceda in San Antonio. Despite calls from U.S. President Barack Obama, the U.S...

.

Perry commuted the death sentence of Kenneth Foster
Kenneth Foster
Kenneth Foster, Jr. is a prisoner formerly on death row in Texas, convicted under the law of parties. He was convicted of murdering Michael LaHood in August 1996...

, who was convicted of murder despite evidence that he was only present at the scene of the crime. Perry also pardoned Tyrone Brown
Tyrone Brown
Tyrone Brown is an African-American Texan who was sentenced to a life term in a Texas maximum security prison for a robbery which netted two Chinese yen in 1990 and smoking marijuana while on probation. He was granted a conditional pardon by Texas Governor Rick Perry...

, who was sentenced to life in a Texas maximum security prison for smoking marijuana while on probation
Probation
Probation literally means testing of behaviour or abilities. In a legal sense, an offender on probation is ordered to follow certain conditions set forth by the court, often under the supervision of a probation officer...

. Perry's actions in both these cases were following the recommendation of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Infrastructure


In 2001, Perry proposed the Trans-Texas Corridor
Trans-Texas Corridor
The Trans-Texas Corridor was a transportation network that was discontinued in the planning and early construction stages in the U.S. State of Texas. The network, as originally envisioned, would have been composed of a network of supercorridors up to wide to carry parallel links of tollways,...

, a $145+ billion-dollar project that would build multi-lane highways, rail lines and data lines from Oklahoma to Mexico, and from east to west in southern Texas. Instead of paying for the project with taxes, Perry proposed that it be partially financed, partially built and wholly operated by private contractors, who would subsequently receive all toll proceeds. All of Perry's gubernatorial opponents opposed the corridor project, as did the 2006 state party platforms of both the Democratic and Republican parties. After much contentious debate between supporters and opponents, an official decision of "no action" was issued by the Federal Highway Administration on July 20, 2010, formally ending the project.

Gun ownership


Perry has an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association of America is an American non-profit 501 civil rights organization which advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection...

. He possesses a Concealed Handgun License (CHL) and has signed a number of bills that increased CHL access.

2012 presidential campaign


Until 2011, Perry persistently denied aspirations to higher office; he was originally included on the 2012 Presidential Straw Poll ballot at the Values Voter Summit in September 2009, but his name was removed at his own request. In April 2008 while appearing as a guest on CNBC
CNBC
CNBC is a satellite and cable television business news channel in the U.S., owned and operated by NBCUniversal. The network and its international spinoffs cover business headlines and provide live coverage of financial markets. The combined reach of CNBC and its siblings is 390 million viewers...

's Kudlow & Company
Kudlow & Company
The Kudlow Report is a news television program about business and politics hosted by Lawrence Kudlow, that airs on the CNBC television channel at 7pm ET. The show began airing on January 26, 2009. It is a successor to Kudlow & Company, which aired from 2005 until October 2008...

, he specifically stated that he would not agree to serve as Vice President in a McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 administration, stating that he already had "the best job in the world" as governor of Texas. Further, during a Republican gubernatorial debate in January 2010, when asked if he would commit to serving out his term if re-elected, he replied that "the place hasn't been made yet" where he would rather serve than the governor of Texas. In December 2010, when asked if he was a "definite maybe" to run for President in 2012, he replied, "a definite no, brother".

On May 27, 2011, he said he is "going to think about" running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination after the close of the Texas legislative session. Perry said in a response to a question from a reporter, "but I think about a lot of things," he added with a grin.

On August 11, a Perry spokesman said that he will be running for President in 2012
United States presidential election, 2012
The United States presidential election of 2012 is the next United States presidential election, to be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. It will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which presidential electors, who will actually elect the President and the Vice President of the United...

, with plans to announce his formal entry into the race the next day, August 12. Perry himself confirmed it on a visit to KVUE
KVUE
KVUE, virtual channel 24 , is the local Austin, Texas-based ABC affiliate, owned by Belo Corporation. Its transmitter is located in West Lake Hills, just west of Downtown...

, the ABC affiliate in Austin. As the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 bulletin announcing his entry into the race came across the wire, Perry signed and dated a printed copy of the bulletin.

On August 13, Perry officially announced that he will be running for president.

In October 2011, the Washington Post reported that Perry's family leases a hunting camp once called "Niggerhead
Niggerhead
In several English-speaking countries, Niggerhead or nigger head is a former name for several things thought to resemble a black person's head....

". According to some local residents interviewed by the Post, the Perrys used the camp for years before painting over a large rock with that name on it, which stands at an entrance to the area, and during this time Perry hosted friends and supporters at the camp. Perry's campaign disputed the claims, stating that the Perrys painted over the rock almost immediately after acquiring a lease on the property in 1983.

Publications


Rick Perry has written two books:
  • On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For was published in February 2008. In his book, Perry celebrates the positive impact of the organization on the youth of America and criticizes the ACLU for its legal actions against the Boy Scouts of America
    Boy Scouts of America
    The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with over 4.5 million youth members in its age-related divisions...

    .
  • His second book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington
    Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington
    Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington is a 2010 political non-fiction book authored by Texas Governor Rick Perry and published by Little, Brown and Company. It was released shortly after Perry's re-election to a third term as governor. The book analyzes states' rights and the growing...

     was published in November 2010. Perry's second book discusses his support for limited central government.


Perry has also written a lecture about the role of the federal government and the military in disaster management titled Federalizing Disaster Response.

Personal life


In 1982, Perry married Anita Thigpen
Anita Thigpen Perry
Anita Thigpen Perry is the current and longest-serving First Lady of Texas, and the wife of Governor Rick Perry. As First Lady of Texas, she has been an active advocate for nursing and other health care issues...

, his childhood sweetheart whom he had known since elementary school
Elementary school
An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

. They have two grown children, Griffin and Sydney. Anita Perry attended West Texas State University
West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University , part of the Texas A&M University System, is a public university located in Canyon, Texas, a small city south of Amarillo. West Texas A&M opened on September 20, 1910...

 and earned a degree in nursing. She has spearheaded a number of health-related initiatives such as the Anita Thigpen Perry Endowment at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is an institute of health science education and research, located in the South Texas Medical Center....

, which focuses on nutrition, cardiovascular disease
Heart disease
Heart disease, cardiac disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases affecting the heart. , it is the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.-Types:-Coronary heart disease:Coronary...

, health education
Health education
Health education is the profession of educating people about health. Areas within this profession encompass environmental health, physical health, social health, emotional health, intellectual health, and spiritual health...

, and early childhood development. Anita has also helped develop and host the Texas Conference for Women
Texas Conference for Women
The Texas Conference for Women is a nonprofit, nonpartisan leadership conference for women of all ages and backgrounds. The first annual conference was held in 2000 in Austin, Texas. Governor Rick Perry and First Lady Anita Perry are the official hosts of the event, which has featured keynote...

.

Electoral history



External links



  • Campaign finance reports and data at the Federal Election Commission
    Federal Election Commission
    The Federal Election Commission is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States. It was created in a provision of the 1975 amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act...

  • Financial information at OpenSecrets.org.......

National and international media coverage
  • Rick Perry category at CNN
    CNN
    Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

  • Rick Perry page at Fox News
  • Rick Perry category at The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

  • Rick Perry section at The Wall Street Journal
    The Wall Street Journal
    The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

  • Rick Perry index at The Economist
    The Economist
    The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

  • Rick Perry collection at The (London) Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

  • Rick Perry directory at The Open Directory Project
    Open Directory Project
    The Open Directory Project , also known as Dmoz , is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links. It is owned by Netscape but it is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.ODP uses a hierarchical ontology scheme for organizing site listings...



Local media coverage
  • The Perry Trap at The Austin Chronicle
  • Perry Watch at The Dallas Morning News
    The Dallas Morning News
    The Dallas Morning News is the major daily newspaper serving the Dallas, Texas area, with a circulation of 264,459 subscribers, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported in September 2010...

  • Rick Perry 2012 at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram
    The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is a major U.S. daily newspaper serving Fort Worth and the western half of the North Texas area known as the Metroplex. Its area of domination is checked by its main rival, The Dallas Morning News, which is published from the eastern half of the Metroplex. It is owned...

  • Rick Perry at the Houston Chronicle
    Houston Chronicle
    The Houston Chronicle is the largest daily newspaper in Texas, USA, headquartered in the Houston Chronicle Building in Downtown Houston. , it is the ninth-largest newspaper by circulation in the United States...

  • The Perry Trove at the Texas Monthly
    Texas Monthly
    Texas Monthly is a monthly American magazine headquartered in Austin, Texas. Texas Monthly is published by Emmis Publishing, L.P. and was founded in 1973 by Michael R. Levy, Texas Monthly chronicles life in contemporary Texas, writing on politics, the environment, industry, and education...

  • The Perry Trail at The Texas Observer
    The Texas Observer
    The Texas Observer is an American political newsmagazine published bi-weekly and based in Downtown Austin, Texas. The non-profit magazine is nonpartisan, but the publication has historically been an advocate for liberal politics...

  • Rick Perry at The Texas Tribune
    The Texas Tribune
    The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit news organization headquartered in Downtown Austin, Texas, devoted to state government and public policy. It aims to promote civic engagement through original, explanatory journalism and public events...



Governor
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-
|-

|-