Former state GOP head Pauken running for governor

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Associated Press

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 10:32 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry has drawn his first major primary opponent in the 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

Former state Republican Party chairman Tom Pauken appointed a campaign treasurer Thursday. That allows a candidate to raise and spend campaign funds.

Neither Pauken nor his treasurer responded to calls seeking comment.

Pauken is an Army veteran with deep conservative credentials.

He served as a White House lawyer under President Ronald Reagan. In the 1990s, he helped guide the party's ascendance in Texas.

More recently, Pauken served six years as a Perry appointee to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Perry campaign spokeswoman Teresa Spears said the governor "was focused on the legislative session."

Perry says he'll announce in June whether he plans to seek a fourth full gubernatorial term. He's also mulling another presidential run.

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