SAN ANTONIO — Rick Perry is expected to announce early this afternoon whether he will seek a record fourth term as Texas governor or make another run for the White House.
The announcement is attracting a lot of attention in Texas political circles because if Perry vacates the governor’s office, it will start a chain reaction of other politicians clamoring to move up and potentially reshuffle the state’s top officeholders for the first time in more than a decade.
Perry invited friends and supporters to join him in San Antonio on Monday as he reveals his "exciting new plans."
"There's no indication a new Perry statewide campaign is gearing up," said Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy on WFAA's Inside Texas Politics broadcast Sunday morning.
"He’ll set up and run a presidential campaign, and he should," Kennedy added. "Depending on who's at the top of the [2016 GOP] ticket, they might need a Southern conservative, and that might be Rick Perry."
The image splashed across the top of Perry’s political website rickperry.org, shows the governor holding an American flag rather than the Lone Star flag.
"Part of Perry wanting to return to the national scene is him wanting to undo some of that damage and show the nation he can do better than he did in 2012," said Gromer Jeffers, political writer for The Dallas Morning News on "Inside Texas Politics."
But a University of Texas-Texas Tribune poll in mid-June showed Texas voters would prefer U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz over Gov. Perry if the two were in a hypothetical match-up for the Republican presidential nomination.
Cruz received 25 percent of the support in that survey, while Perry came in fourth with 10 percent behind U.S. senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.
Though observers say Cruz is believed to be raising his profile by speaking at conservative fundraisers nationwide, the freshman senator has not said whether he’ll make a run for the White House.
A more recent survey of 500 Texas voters by Public Policy Polling suggests Rick Perry should not run for re-election. Sixty percent of respondents did not want him to seek a fourth term as governor, while 30 percent said they would support him in that endeavor.
"[If Perry] announces he’ll run for president, Attorney General Greg Abbott — in the coming days — will announce his run for governor, and then the dominoes will start falling," Jeffers speculated. "You’ll see [Dallas four-term State Rep.] Dan Branch announce for attorney general, maybe others after that. We’re in for exciting times.”