Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Announce GOP Candidacy in South Carolina

Sources say that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who set off somewhat of a firestorm for taking part in a massive prayer event this past weekend, will announce that he intends to become a 2012 Republican presidential candidate. According to Politico, Perry will make the announcement during a speech in South Carolina this Saturday:

According to two sources familiar with the plan, the Texas governor will remove any doubt about his White House intentions during his appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston.

It’s uncertain whether Saturday will mark a formal declaration, but Perry’s decision to disclose his intentions the same day as the Ames straw poll–and then hours later make his first trip to New Hampshire– will send shockwaves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll.

Almost immediately after his appearance, Perry’s schedule begins to reflect one of a individual seeking the White House. He will head to New Hampshire, then to Iowa. Later this week, the governor will discuss job creation and his economic record with small business association CEOs.

Perry’s announcement will send a shockwave through the GOP field due to his support among Evangelicals. This support could easily take fire away from both Congresswoman Michele Bachman and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Politico continues:

The Texan would immediately be a formidable figure in the race, appealing to conservatives hungering for more options–particularly in states where the GOP base is heavily conservative, like Iowa and South Carolina, Perry would have an opportunity to unite both tea party activists and more traditional party regulars who want a mix of conservatism and electability.

Watch Perry deliver his controversial speech at The Response prayer rally this past weekend: