Governor Perry May ‘Shake Up’ GOP Field

EXETER, N.H. (AP) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry has telephoned influential Republicans in early voting New Hampshire and Iowa in recent days as he weighs whether to enter the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

“He was looking for my thoughts in terms of what the presidential field looked like and what might happen if someone came in and shook things up a little bit,” New Hampshire Senate President Peter Bragdon told The Associated Press on Monday after receiving a weekend voicemail message on his cell phone from Perry. “It certainly left me with the impression that he’s doing his homework and giving it some serious consideration.”

The conservative Texan also called several GOP leaders in Iowa, which will hold the first contest in next year’s GOP presidential race. Among those contacted, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said Perry left a message for her but didn’t indicate whether he planned to run.

“He looked forward to the opportunity to have a face-to-face and talk about great things that could happen in Iowa as well as the nation,” Reynolds told the AP. “He just said he looked forward to seeing me soon.”

Perry’s efforts to reach out to Republican officeholders in both states show just how seriously he’s considering a presidential run as polls suggest Republican primary voters in early voting states and elsewhere are generally underwhelmed by the current slate of candidates.

The field is largely set, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — who lost the nomination to John McCain in 2008 — ahead in most early surveys. Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee, and Perry are the only two major question marks.

Perry, Texas’ longest serving governor, had spent months saying that he would not seek the nomination. He reversed course several weeks ago, and has been openly considering a bid.

Last month, Perry aides began making inquiries in Iowa about the timing and rules of the state’s leadoff nominating caucuses, as well as the Iowa GOP’s presidential straw poll, scheduled for Aug. 13 in Ames. There also is an Iowa movement afoot to draft Perry to run; it has hired staffers to try to build support for Perry at the Ames popularity contest that could shape the race.

A Perry adviser declined to comment about whom Perry is reaching out to and why.

New Hampshire conservative leader and former Senate candidate Ovide Lamontagne said he spoke to Perry “for the better part of half an hour” on Saturday.

“I told him that I think this is a wide-open race. While there are some good candidates out there, I think folks are still looking,” said Lamontagne, who hasn’t committed to a candidate. “I have the impression that he’s in the process of making a decision. Obviously he’s quite serious about it.”

In recent days, Perry also phoned at least four Iowa Republicans representing crucial constituencies in the leadoff caucus state.

They include: state Rep. Stewart Iverson, a former Iowa Senate president and past state GOP chairman; Joni Scotter, an activist known for her volunteer work who was a top backer of Romney’s 2008 campaign; and Steve Scheffler, a leading Iowa social conservative and Republican National Committee member.

Perry also invited Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Reynolds to the day of prayer planned for Aug. 6 in Houston. The pair said they are unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

It’s one of several high-profile public appearances Perry has added to his schedule as he weighs a bid.

His next scheduled appearance in New Hampshire, home to the nation’s first presidential primary, is an Oct. 28 keynote dinner address before the conservative interest group Cornerstone. He has no plans, thus far, to visit Iowa.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Beverly

    I truly hope he does not run. This is the man who was talking cessation from the US not too long ago. Not to be trusted at all.

    • Gumby Rules

      “This is the man who was talking cessation…”

      Wrong word. I think you mean “Secede” which means withdraw formally from membership in a federal union, an alliance, or a political or religious organization

      Cessation means to quit an action like smoking or breathing.

    • fred

      Well..he is a nutbag, he will probably get close to winning..

    • Virginia Tovar

      he cant get texas out of our slum and now your going for government i don’t think so!!!!! how many of your electric bills would take care of all of us? come to my life jerk!!!

  • Trey

    I wish the locale media would stop touting this idiot Perry as a would be candidate for president.Perry has way too many skeletons in the closet to ever enter the race,I can not wait until the national media starts digging into the tech fund scandals etc and that will be a end to Perry’s high hopes for the White House.

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  • RussP

    Like him or not, Obama is a shoe in for another four years with the group of people the Republicans are offerring so far.

    • YRofTexas

      Can’t mess with a repeat of Obama’s presidency. If he gets booted, its highly likely that there will be many who will cry foul and resist a new administration. Best to let Obama finish up with 8 years, then the Entire Nation of the US of A will be very receptive to a change back to its original Constitutional roots.
      Anyone running against the Dem’s candidate in 2016 will be landslided off the ticket. Lets only hope that it isn’t a Rhino like Perry, Gingrich, or the likes of Romney…because if that’s all the Repub’s will offer, then ALL of America is doomed.

      • YRofTexas

        Oops; clarity:
        After 8 yrs under Democratic rule, the American people will vote in anyone BUT Democratic. Lets hope it’s not an extreme radical or a very weak individual.
        We need in 2016, a Presidential Administration that talks the talk and walks the walk of True Grit in getting our house back in order, and following the US Constitution, returning it to its original structure, liberties, and accountability of power.

  • NiteNurse

    Just remember you can follow Governor Ricky on the “TWEETER”!

  • callen

    Good Lord. I hope the nation does not want to put another good-ole-boy in the White House. Look, cowboys look promising, but they are all hat and no cattle, as we say here in Texas. Perry would love to control every aspect of your daily life and take every dollar out of your pocket and give it to the elite. He no concept of how hard middle class America is struggling. He is all for Big Government. Count on it.

  • dancingflacingo

    If he really wanted to shake things up, he could choose Kinky Friedman as a running mate!!

  • Hemroidious

    I like RICK !!!

  • Virginia Tovar

    you like rick? well im one of those that he isnt supporting hurt at work and dumped by texas workmans comp really? k m b

  • fred

    VOTERS – if you are suckered in by the snake oil salesman, that throws out key words like “pro life” and “prayer” and “god” and “big business is good” ….then vote for the guy and expect a reality based person that will do GOOD for ALL of the people, and just not a few…then you have nobody to blame for this failure but you. Look PAST the BS key words, and review their game plan. You will find that most only know the key words (palin) but dont have any viable solutions they will fight for….by the people, and for the people…nothing more…nothing less.

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