Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history and a good-natured rival of the other Republican governor among the country’s four most populated states, announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2014, according to USA Today.
Perry made the announcement at a news conference in San Antonio, marking the beginning of the end of a tenure in the governor’s office that started in 2000 when George W. Bush left to go to the White House.
Nationally, Perry is best known for his ill-fated race for the Republican nomination in 2012, including the famous “oops” moment that came during a Republican primary debate when he listed two of three federal cabinet departments he wished to eliminate (Commerce and Education), but forgot the third (Energy.).
In Texas, however, Perry’s tenure is better known as marking the consolidation of Republican rule over the second most-populous state, where the GOP has dominated statewide elections since 1994.
In his announcement, Perry ran through a list of accomplishments during his time in office, such as 1.6 million jobs created and seven balanced budgets, according to USA Today. (Texas state budgets are crafted every two years, rather than annually.)
He is also one of the most stalwart of the governors opposed to President Obama’s health-care reform.
In the announcement, Perry did not make any commitments about his political future, saying only he would make any decisions at the appropriate time.
Perry’s success in state politics and his job creation record put him into friendly competition with Scott, in the fourth most-populous state.
(The first and third most populated states are California and New York, run by Democratic Govs. Jerry Brown and Andrew Cuomo.)
That rivalry was evident in a statement Scott’s office released within hours of Perry’s announcement.
“Under the stewardship of Governor Rick Perry since 2000, the people of Texas have seen up close how conservative policies drive economic engines, lower crime and produce stronger families. As the longest serving governor in Texas history, Governor Perry’s record of accomplishment leaves Texas-size boots to fill for his successor,” Scott said in the statement.
“I have enjoyed sparring with him over the last two years, and I hope he tells his successor that it’s just a matter of time before Florida unseats Texas as the No. 1 state in the country for job creation.”
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