Rick Perry, one of the political leaders considered a 2016 GOP presidential hopeful, is the governor of Texas, a position he’s held for more than three terms, the longest in the state’s history. Here’s a list of eight facts about the political background of this 2016 Republican contender.
Perry’s experience in the political arena began in 1984, when he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, serving three two-year terms in office. He was a Democrat during most of his tenure there, even supporting Al Gore in the presidential primaries in 1988.
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Rick Perry switched parties and became a Republican in 1989; he ran for lieutenant governor in 1998, taking office in 1999. One year later, he became governor after George W. Bush resigned.
During the 2002 gubernatorial election, Perry won the office, earning 57.80 percent against Tony Sanchez, an oilman and businessman, who earned 39.96 percent.
. Perry was re-elected to office in 2006, when he ran against former U.S. Congressman Chris Bell, of Houston. In 2010, Perry once again won the gubernatorial election, earning the rank as the first Texas governor to be elected to three four-year terms.
While campaigning for lieutenant governor and governor, Rick Perry was known for his strong position on criminal activity, a stance indicated when he vetoed a ban on the execution of mentally retarded inmates and supported block grants from crime programs.
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Perry focused also on tort reform and signed a bill in 2003 restricting non-economic damages in medical practice judgments.
7. The New York Times reported Perry was earning a reputation
as governor for speaking against federal healthcare reform proposals and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Pro-life, Perry has signed bills with restrictions for abortion procedures and their funding; but in 2011, ABC News reported Perry would support
abortions resulting in saving a mother’s life.
Rick Perry is expected to announce in midway through 2015 whether he’ll run for president in 2016, The Associated Press said
“People think we're going to run, and that's not necessarily a bad thing,” Perry told AP in December 2014.
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