Texas Gov. Rick Perry is heading to early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina this weekend, adding more speculation that he is poised to announce a run for the Republican presidential nomination.
The move also appears calculated to steal some attention away from the host of GOP candidates participating in Iowa’s straw poll Saturday, The Washington Post
Perry heads to Charleston, S.C., to attend the meeting of the conservative blog RedState.com and will head north for a meeting with party activists at the home of New Hampshire state Rep. Pamela Tucker.
Nonetheless, aides to the governor continue to downplay the moves.
“The governor is not a candidate for office at this time,” the Post quoted spokesman Matt Miner as saying. “Stay tuned.”
Perry is popular among tea party and religious conservatives and business leaders. His supporters are pushing those attending the straw poll to write in his name. “I think it would be a big jolt to the race, a Southern and Western person, a successful governor, a guy who has some charisma — you put that into one package and it’s pretty exciting, and it could change the race,” Shawn Steel, a member of the Republican National Committee who is considering backing Perry, told the Post.
If Perry enters the race, he will have to play catch up with fundraising, something the rest of the GOP field has been working on it for months. Perry has been meeting with potential donors in recent weeks, the Post reported.
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