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UPDATE 3-Texas Governor Perry to run for US president | Reuters

August 11, 2011

UP DATE 3-Texas Governor Perry to run for US president

August 11, 2011

By Chris Baltimore

HOUSTON, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry, a staunch conservative with a Washington outsider’s resume, will seek the 2012 Republican nomination for U.S. president, his spokesman said on Thursday, adding a top contender to the party’s field of hopefuls.

“He will make a definitive announcement on Saturday for the race,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. Asked if Perry is indeed joining the race, Miner said, “Yes.”

Perry’s long-awaited entry promises to reshape the crowded race for the Republican nomination, placing him instantly at or near the top and potentially pushing out several candidates who have failed to gain traction in poll ratings or fundraising.

The eventual Republican nominee will seek to deny Democratic President Barack Obama a second term in office in the November 2012 election. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the early front-runner for the nomination but is seen as vulnerable.

“I think Perry will shoot to the top of the polls right away, and be neck and neck with Romney,” said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

His campaign confirmed he would run hours before a Thursday night debate among eight other Republican hopefuls in Iowa. His formal announcement on Saturday may steal the spotlight from the Iowa straw poll, a mock election seen as an early test of the candidates’ strength, also taking place that same day.

Opinion polls put Perry in the top tier of Republican candidates. He has the political background as Texas’ longest-serving governor and fundraising acumen to be a formidable challenger to Obama. He has never lost an election.

A Christian conservative who said he felt “called” to a presidential run, Perry also touts a strong job-creation record in Texas. This could allow him to bridge the gaps between Republicans more focused on social issues such as opposition to gay marriage and abortion, the new activist Tea Party fiscal conservatives and the party’s more centrist pro-business wing.

His formal announcement will come a week after Perry led a religious rally that drew tens of thousands of people to a stadium in Houston last Saturday. Religious conservatives play a big role in the Republican nominating race. [ID:nN1E775077]

via UPDATE 3-Texas Governor Perry to run for US president | Reuters.


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