'Exciting future plans' feeds speculation over Perry's next step


by MARK WIGGINS / KVUE News and photojournalist CHRIS SHADROCK

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarkW_KVUE


Posted on July 5, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 6 at 5:16 PM

AUSTIN -- The longest-serving governor in Texas history will soon reveal his future plans, an announcement he's long been promising. 
"I'm focused on the session, appropriately so," Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) told sister station WFAA in a January interview. "I've told folks many times, and I'll do it one more time, June, July is that time frame in which I will share with you what my future plans for 2014 are."
According to CNN, an e-mail from Perry's campaign informed political allies this week the governor would share his "exciting future plans" at an event Monday in San Antonio. Perry's campaign confirmed Friday a "major announcement" would be made Monday at location to be revealed later.
"Almost half of the jobs in America are created right here in Texas," Perry told KVUE in an August 2011 interview, the first in which he publicly announced his candidacy for President of the United States. The message would later become a key component of his campaign pitch during the 2012 election season.
Perry rocketed to the lead in the Republican party primary before falling out of the race on the heels of a troublesome string of debates, most memorably forgetting the third federal agency he intended to eliminate as president. 
Despite exiting the race in early 2012, Perry has left the door open to another run. If he decides to retire at the end of his third term as governor in order to focus solely on another shot at the White House, longtime Texas politics watcher and Quorum Report editor Harvey Kronberg says Perry's in a good spot on paper.
"He's got a strong economy, the greatest job growth of any other state in the country, and now we're going to be in the forefront of new abortion restrictions which all point very well for Republican primaries," explained Kronberg. "I don't know what else he could do that would give him a better resume for that particular part of the challenge." 
A new challenge closer to home has arisen in State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), whose filibuster to block a controversial abortion bill ended in instant stardom among Democrats and speculation she could make a competitive run for governor, potentially against Perry. After calling a second special session to take up the bill again, Perry took aim at Davis.
"She was a teenage mother herself," Perry told an anti-abortion rights crowd in Dallas. "She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."
Firing back, Davis said the statement was undignified. "I thought it demeaned the very high office that he holds."
The exchange renewed speculation Perry may run for a record fourth term as governor.
"We've had this conflict and we've had this superstardom all within about a three or four week period, and I think he's remembering what that adrenaline was like," said Kronberg. "As you recall he was very subdued during the session, and now all of a sudden he's got that spark again."
Perry could also announce an exit from politics altogether, at least temporarily. 
"He put that interesting phrase in there 'exciting news' as opposed to predictable news," explained Kronberg. "Which kind of leaves the door open to some other career path on the way to a run for the presidency."


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