Rick Perry Will Not Seek Re-Election as Texas Governor

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2014, ending his record-setting tenure as chief executive of the Lone Star state.

Rick Perry Speech

"The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," Perry, a Republican, said at a news conference in San Antonio surrounded by supporters.

Perry, 63, is the longest-serving governor in Texas history and has held the job since December 2000, when George W. Bush left to become president.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a rising Republican Party star, has been making moves as though he will seek the governorship next year.

Abbott praised Perry for keeping "Washington in check" and "preventing the heavy-hand of government from stifling small businesses in Texas."

Abbott, however, made no mention of his political future.

Tom Pauken, Rick Perry's onetime appointee to the Texas Workforce Commission, is already seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination next year.

It's unclear who might run on the Democratic side.

State Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who rose to prominence with her recent filibuster of an abortion bill, said she'll take a "second look" at the 2014 race.

Perry left the door open to run for the White House in the 2016 election, saying that any "future considerations" will be announced "in due time."

The governor touted a long list of achievements, including the creation of 1.6 million new jobs and his signature on seven balanced state budgets.

He has been known to push back on regulations from Washington, D.C. and has been a vocal critic of President Obama's national health care law.

For much of the nation, however, Perry is known for his ill-fated 2012 White House bid, which started off with a lot of hype that he quickly failed to live up to.

Once considered a top conservative alternative to eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney, Perry briefly led early polls before stumbling early and often.

Perry's "oops" moment during a TV debate, in which he forgot the name of the third federal agency he wanted to nix, became the stuff of YouTube legend.

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