James Richard "Rick" Perry (born March 4, 1950) the 47th and current Governor of Texas will announce his candidacy for the U.S. presidency today. Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when George W. Bush resigned as governor to become President of the United States. Perry has been elected to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010 all victories by healthy margins. Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas state history. Perry is also the only governor in modern Texas history to have appointed at least one person to every eligible state office, board, or commission position (as well as to several elected offices to which the governor can appoint someone to fill an unexpired term.
Perry won the Texas 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary election, defeating U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Wharton County Republican Party Chairwoman and businesswoman Debra Medina. It was a bruising competition. In the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election, Perry won a third term by defeating former Houston mayor Bill White and Kathie Glass. Perry's entry into the crowded GOP field will likely shake up the balance of polling power, chase away some of the potential entrants, and inject a major dose of executive experience. White House advisor David Axelrod wasted no time attacking Perry's record on national television yesterday suggesting education and health care have been decimated in Texas.