Texas

Governor Rick Perry

A fifth generation Texan, Governor Rick Perry has taken an extraordinary Texas journey, from a tenant farm in the rolling West Texas plains to the governor’s office of our nation’s second largest state.

Texas’ 47th and longest-serving governor, Rick Perry is the first Texas A&M graduate to occupy the office. He has led a life of public service, starting in the United States Air Force and continuing over two decades in elected office.
Governor Perry’s administration has focused on creating a Texas of unlimited opportunity and prosperity by improving education, securing the border and increasing economic development through classic conservative values. During his tenure, Governor Perry has maintained a strong focus on fiscal discipline, leading the charge to cut spending while keeping taxes low.

Under his leadership, Texas has continued to lead the nation in job creation. The Texas economy performed comparably well in the recent global economic crisis, thanks to a focused effort to keep taxes low, regulations predictable and the legal system fair. Gov. Perry led the effort to reform the legal system, signing into law a series of lawsuit reforms designed to stem the flow of frivolous lawsuits through Texas courts, meaning employers can devote their resources to creating jobs instead of defending against those frivolous lawsuits. More importantly, the reforms reversed the trend of skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates which has led to an influx of doctors seeking to practice in Texas. As a result, obstetricians and other specialists are returning to practice in previously underserved, high-risk areas.

On the education front, Governor Perry has worked to raise the quality of Texas schools by increasing accountability, raising expectations and funding programs that work. He also signed a school finance reform package that provided a 33 percent school property tax reduction, a $2,000 pay raise for teachers, record funding for classrooms and a reformed business tax.

Stepping into the gap left by the federal government, Governor Perry has worked with the legislature to fund coordinated border security efforts in 2007, 2009 and 2011, pursuing a “boots on the ground” strategy while integrating and coordinating local, county, state and federal law enforcement efforts.

Rick Perry’s political career started in 1985 as a representative for a rural West Texas district in the state House of Representatives. He was first elected to statewide office in 1990, and served as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture for two terms. Governor Perry hails from Paint Creek, a small farming community north of Abilene. His father, Ray Perry, served as a Haskell County Commissioner, school board member and a World War II tail gunner. Between 1972 and 1977, Governor Perry served in the United States Air Force flying C-130 tactical airlift aircraft in the U.S., Europe and Middle East.

He is a 1972 graduate of Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a junior and senior yell leader and an animal science major. The younger of Ray and Amelia Perry’s two children, Governor Perry is an Eagle Scout and lifetime member of the NRA and American Legion Post #75.
He first met Anita Thigpen at a piano recital during their elementary school years. They married in 1982 and are the proud parents of two grown children – Sydney and Griffin. Griffin married his wife, Meredith, in 2009.