Rick Perry was a presidential candidate for the Republican nomination in 2012 and 2016. Prior to starting the presidential run, Perry held the office of Governor of Texas for 15 consecutive years. Currently, he is the newly appointed US Secretary of Energy.
Early Life and Education
Born on March 4, 1950, Perry was raised in Haskell, Texas. His father Joseph Ray Perry and mother Amelia June Holt Perry were cotton farmers. Perry grew up with sister Amelia who is around 2 years older.
Being around Democrat father, Perry’s political notions began taking shape as early as 1961. He went to Paint Creek High School where he got engaged with Boy Scouts and won Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Perry did his BS From Texas A&M University at College Station.
At Texas A&M, Perry was active in Corps of Caders and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. He also took up some leadership positions and graduated with a BSc in Animal Science.
Rick Perry started his early career as a door-to-door book salesman in the early 1970s. He remembers the experience as one ‘that tests your commitment to a goal’. Perry also praises Mr. Oldham, the president of the book company, for teaching ‘to communicate quickly and clearly’.
US Air Force
After four years at Texas A&M, Perry joined the US Air Force. Completing training in 1974, Perry was allocated to fly C-130 at Dyess Air Force Base. He flew over Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Guatemala for US mission of drought relief.
Rick Perry’s career in mainstream politics started when he won the state election for Texas House of Representative. As a member of Legislature, Perry supported $5.7-billion tax increase, Al Gore’s 1988 primaries and became a member of Pit Bulls.
Changing party from Democrat to Republican in September 1989, Perry won the 1990 election for Agricultural Commissioner. He attained a narrow victory over Jim Hightower with just 49% votes in favor. Perry was successful in addressing the requirements of Texas farmers: promoting sales, supervising weight measures and assure stability. Hence, he was re-elected to the office in 1994 with more than 2.5 million votes in favor.
After officiating Agriculture Commission for eight years, Perry found running for Lieutenant Governor as a progressive way to move forwards. Perry won the election with 50.04% votes on his side. Soon after assuming the office of lieutenant governor, Perry became elected to the Office of Governor in December 2000.
Within the next 12 years, Perry was already elected three times for full four-year tenures. More interestingly, his approval ratings more than 50% throughout the tenure. As a governor, Perry rightly utilized his veto to reject 82 acts. Likewise, he founded an organization named OneStar Foundation aimed to foster non-profit organizations and volunteerism.
Rick Perry adopted Keynesian theory of government spending for infrastructural development. By 2012, Texas was already in a debt of more than $17 billion. Perry continuously opposed Obamacare and tried to preach tort reform. A religious man, Perry declared August 6 as a Day of Prayer in Texas. Some people tend to fast on that day.
Perry was lenient on the treatment of inmates. He vetoed against the execution of mentally disabled prisoners. However, he imposed rather tough laws on crimes and possession of cannabis. In addition, Perry opposed Robin Hood plan to finance education. Just like Trump, Perry also supports gun ownership.
In 2012, Rick Perry ran for the Republican nomination of the United States. However, after finding himself doing significantly poorly, he dropped out of the race in January 2012. Rick’s desires to become president didn’t end there, he gave his candidacy in 2016 against Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and a few other Republicans.
After lying short on polls and campaign budgets, Perry dropped off the race again in September 2015 and endorsed the fellow Republican Ted Cruz on January 25, 2016. After Ted Cruz dropped out, he backed Donald Trump with a public endorsement.
Donald Trump and Rick Perry
Although Perry supported opposite side in primaries, he later backed Trump’s MAGA PAC against Hillary Clinton. So, following Trump’s victory, Perry was nominated for Secretary of Energy on December 12. Two days later, he was approved to take the office.