The following bio was posted to Gov. Rick Perry's campaign Web site:
On December 21, 2000, Rick Perry stood on the steps of the state capitol, raised his right hand and took the oath of office as Texas’ 47th Governor. Every day since then he has stood for Texans’ conservative values, fought for principled solutions to tough challenges and worked to implement a clear vision for better schools, more jobs, safer communities and a brighter future.
Texans are safer because Gov. Perry ordered an aggressive border security initiative that is putting more boots on the grounds, more helicopters in the sky, and more resources into the hands of border law officers who are on the front lines of America’s homeland security efforts. Texas is shutting down illegal activity on the border, and the American homeland is more secure.
Perry has led the fight for better schools, signing into law a $2,000 pay raise for teachers and the country’s largest performance pay program. He has worked for higher standards and greater accountability. He ordered schools to spend 65% of tax dollars directly in the classroom—not bureaucracy—and required districts to open their financial books so taxpayers can see how their money is being spent. Today student test scores are rising, and a record number of children are going to college.
Perry has made job creation a top priority of his administration. Texas has gained more than 630,000 new jobs over the last three years, and more Texans are working today than ever before. Our business climate has been ranked one of the nation’s best, and we are attracting the technology-based jobs of tomorrow’s economy with new job investments.
Throughout his term in office, Gov. Perry has proven himself to be a leader who does what he believes is right, regardless of what critics may say.
He refused to raise taxes when Texas faced a record $10 billion budget shortfall in 2003. Instead, he became the first governor since World War II to sign a budget that lowered state spending. As governor, Perry has used his line item veto to cut over $2.5 billion in proposed spending—six times more than the last four Texas governors combined.
He led the battle to pass the country’s most sweeping lawsuit reforms. Junk lawsuits against medical providers have dropped off dramatically, and patients have better access to healthcare because thousands of doctors have returned to practice.
And in 2005, Perry signed a historic $15.7 billion property tax cut for homeowners and businesses that also includes new taxpayer protections against appraisal increases.
A fifth generation Texan, Perry grew up the son of tenant farmers in the tiny West Texas town of Paint Creek. The younger of Ray and Amelia Perry’s two children, he was active in scouting and earned distinction as an Eagle Scout.
Perry was one of the first in his family to go to college, earning a degree in Animal Science at Texas A&M, where he was also a member of the Corps of Cadets and a Yell Leader.
Between 1972 and 1977, Perry served in the U.S. Air Force flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in the Europe and the Middle East. He is a lifetime member of American Legion Post #75.
Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, he served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and four terms in the Texas House of Representatives.
Perry married his childhood sweetheart, Anita Thigpen, in 1982.
Click here for more information on Governor Rick Perry from his campaign Web site.