FILE - In this June 27, 2013 file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks in Grapevine, Texas. On Monday, July 8, 2013, Perry has invited friends and supporters to San Antonio and the country's largest Caterpillar equipment dealership to announce his future plans. The longest-serving governor in Texas history should reveal if he ll seek a fourth full term in office next year. Credit: AP
Texas Governor Rick Perry says he will not seek reelection for governor of Texas in the state's next election. He made the announcement during a scheduled speech Monday afternoon.
“The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership,” he said in San Antonio. “Today, I’m announcing I will not seek reelection as governor of Texas.”
Perry said he makes the decision with a "deep sense of humility," his voice slightly cracking when he said the words.
He made the announcement at the country's largest Caterpillar equipment dealer. He had asked friends and family to attend, pointing to a big announcement ahead of time.
The governor did not signal if he would seek the presidency in 2016 like he did in 2012, but he did leave the door open by saying he would take the next 18 months to “pray and reflect and work to determine my own future path.”
“Any future considerations I will announce in due time, and I will arrive at that decision appropriately,” he said.
Perry is the longest-serving governor in the state's history. He took over for George W. Bush after Bush vacated the office to become president.
Perry had never lost an election during his 27-year political career and became a near-instant front-runner when he strapped on his signature cowboy boots and strode into the crowded race for the GOP presidential nomination in August 2011. A ferocious fundraiser who was buoyed by both tea party activists and mainstream Republicans, Perry had presided over a Texas economy that was booming and had such TV anchorman good looks he was dubbed by some "governor good hair."
Perry won a seat in the Texas Legislature as a Democrat in 1984, when Texas was still reliably blue. As the state turned deeply red, so did Perry, becoming lieutenant governor in 1998 and taking his current post when Bush left for the White House in December 2000.
A run in 2014 would have been for a fourth full term.
This is a breaking story. Updates will be added. The Associated Press contributed to this report.