After more than a decade in office, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday he wouldn't seek re-election next year, saying he would serve out the remaining year-and-a-half of his term before stepping down.
“I will actively lead this great state,” Perry, a Republican and the longest continuously serving governor in the country, said in a closely followed speech delivered in San Antonio. “The focus must remain on the greatest state of the nation.”
Perry made no specific mention of any plans to mount another bid for the White House after his failed attempt in 2012, saying he would pray and contemplate his options going forward.
“Any future considerations I will announce in due time,” he said, “and I will arrive that that decision appropriately.”
Perry's announcement opens up an opportunity for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to make a gubernatorial bid himself. The state's top lawyer, Abbott has been an active and outspoken attorney general, particularly in battles with Washington over elections law.
In a speech that focused heavily on the state's accomplishments during his tenure, including a booming economy and his many high-profile battles with the federal government, Perry also made clear he intends to continue his work as long as he remains in office.
“Today, Texas is the envy of the nation,” he said. “The focus must remain on the greatest state of the nation.”
Perry's found himself once again the focus of national news attention lately for a battle over abortion restrictions still ongoing in the legislature. Perry has called two special sessions to enact the measure, and lawmakers are continuing that work this week.