Election 101: 11 questions about Rick Perry and his White House bid
James Richard Perry wants to hang his cowboy hat in the White House. The Texas governor announced Saturday at a campaign stop in South Carolina that he was running for president. He was also traveling later in the day to New Hampshire, and planned a trip to Iowa on Sunday.
Governor Perry is a shrewd politician who oozes Texas swagger. His rock-solid record is buttressed by his stateâ€™s impressive jobs record. But is America ready for another cowboy president?
1. Who is Rick Perry?
A fifth generation Texan from the tiny West Texas town of Paint Creek, Perry is the Eagle Scout son of Democratic tenant farmers.
After majoring in animal science at Texas A&M, Perry joined the US Air Force, where he completed pilot training and flew C-130 transports. He left with the rank of captain, joined his fatherâ€™s cotton farm, married his childhood sweetheart, and was elected to the Texas House of Representatives.
In 1989, Perry became a Republican (â€śI made both parties happyâ€ť), then won successive roles as Texas agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor, and, in late 2000, governor.
Perry is the longest-serving Texas governor. He is known as much for his stellar record creating private-sector jobs in Texas as for his syrupy accent and cufflinks-and-cowboy boots style.
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