Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday that he will not run for governor again next year, leaving a new Republican leader a shot at the job and encouraging rumors that Perry may have his sights set on the White House.
Perry has lead Texas since 2000, when George W. Bush left his office as governor to take on the role of president. Perry won three following gubernatorial races, making him the longest serving governor in Texas history, according to USA Today.
Perry made his announcement at a rally in San Antonio, at a dealership owned by one of his greatest financial supporters, according to the Washington Post.
“The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership,” Perry said. “Today, I’m announcing I will not seek reelection as governor of Texas.”
Perry did not include his future plans in his speech.
“Any future considerations I will announce in due time, and I will arrive at that decision appropriately,” he said.
In the last presidential election, Perry, 63, unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president. But he lost Republican favor in the polls quickly and bungled a key televised interview question when he forgot one of his own policy points.
Now that Perry is out of the next gubernatorial race, Greg Abbott, the Texas State Attorney General, is the Republican frontrunner for governor, and consequently the frontrunner in the entire election.
No Democrat is likely to win the position of Texas governor.
State Sen. Wendy Davis or San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro are possible Democratic candidates for the gubernatorial election. Castro plans to run again for mayor in 2013.
Davis recently delivered a 10-hour filibuster to block an anti-abortion bill from passing the state senate, winning her much credit from pro-choice advocates and Democrats across the country.
Chris Turner, CEO of Stampede Consulting, said he thinks Davis does not have enough support statewide to garner the votes she’ll need to win the election.
"She's still a liberal Democrat and this is still Texas," Turner said. "This state is still going to deliver strong double-digit wins for Republicans."