AUSTIN -- Some of Texas' most well-known politicians are spending a lot of time outside the Lone Star State.
Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has traveled from California to New York on a campaign of poaching business and poking local Democrats. Among his next scheduled stops is Missouri, where a $200,000 ad campaign paid for by donations to the Texas Economic Development Division's Texas One Program are scheduled to hit the airwaves.
"Every year more than $40 million are leaving Missouri for the Lone Star State, because Missouri families and businesses know Texas is a great place to live and work," Perry says in one of the 60-second radio ads, which concludes with pitch for listeners to visit texaswideopenforbusiness.com.
"He's got the band back together and he's trying to strike up music that the voters will like," said Dallas Morning News Austin Bureau Chief Christy Hoppe. "Perry is uphill. Second acts are tough in politics, and that's why he's trying to reconstitute himself to Republican voters."
In Texas this week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) brushed aside questions regarding presidential ambitions and whether his apparent dual Canadian Citizenship would get in the way.
"It's very easy for folks in the media to focus on the sideshow," Cruz told reporters Tuesday in Houston. Yet the presidential overtones of Cruz's travels to the early nominating states of Iowa, South Carolina and this weekend's visit to New Hampshire are difficult to ignore.
"Ted Cruz is so nakedly ambitious that there's no mystery there, other than the fact that he is trying to raise his national profile, and he knows how to throw red meat to the Republican faithful better than almost anybody," said longtime Texas politics watcher and Quorum Reporter editor Harvey Kronberg.
State Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) and Mayor Julian Castro, the twin Democrats from San Antonio, have enjoyed the national spotlight ever since Julian Castro's debut at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. By the end of the year, they're expected to have traversed nearly a dozen states between the two of them, either delivering speeches or rubbing shoulders with national power players along the way.
"This is building a national reputation, it's helping fundraising," said Hoppe.
"That national celebrity has never hurt anybody in terms of fundraising and building organization and building a list of people who owe you favors," added Kronberg.
Whatever role any of them plan to play in the upcoming national election, Texas' politicians certainly appear to be racking up miles on the road to 2016.