Rick Perry

Political Party: 
Public Office(s) Held: 
47th Governor of Texas (December 21, 2000)
39th LT Governor of Texas (January 19, 1999 – December 21, 2000)
9th Commissioner of Agriculture of Texas (January 15, 1991 – January 19, 1999)
Member of the Texas House of Representatives District 64 (January 8, 1985 – January 8, 1991)
Short bio: 

James Richard Perry was born on March 4, 1950 in Paint Creek, Texas about 60 miles north of Abilene. Perry graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968. He then attended Texas A&M University where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, was elected senior class social secretary, and was also elected as one of A&M's five yell leaders. Perry graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in animal science. After he graduated, Perry was commissioned in the US Air Force and completed pilot training in February 1974. He was then assigned as a C-130 pilot to the 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base. He left the U.S. Air Force in 1977 as a captain, returned to Texas, and went into business farming cotton with his father.

In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from district 64, which included his home county of Haskell. He served on the House Appropriations and Calendars committees during his three two-year terms in office. In 1987, Perry voted for a $5.7 billion tax increase proposed by Republican governor Bill Clements. Perry supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries and worked in an unspecified capacity for Gore's campaign in Texas. But on September 29, 1989, Perry announced that he was switching parties, to become a Republican.

In 1990, Perry challenged Jim Hightower, the incumbent Democratic Agriculture Commissioner narrowly defeating him for the position. In 1998, Perry chose not to seek a third term as Agriculture Commissioner, running instead for Lieutenant Governor to succeed the retiring Democrat Bob Bullock. He won that election becoming the state's first Republican lieutenant governor since Reconstruction, taking office on January 19, 1999. Perry assumed the office of governor on December 21, 2000, following the resignation of George W. Bush – who was preparing to become President of the United States. He won the office in his own right in the 2002 gubernatorial election and was re-elected in the 2006 gubernatorial race. In the 2010 gubernatorial election, Perry became the first Texas governor to be elected to three four-year terms. On August 13, 2011 Perry officially announced that he would be running for president, but bowed out of the race after bad debate performances.

Perry has decided not to run for re-election for Texas Governor, announcing on July 8, 2013 that he would retire instead. Perry will retire with the 10th longest gubernatorial tenure in US history at the end of his term in 2015. Unnamed sources say Perry may focus on another White House bid for 2016.


PO Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2428

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