AUSTIN, Texas — The 2014 midterm elections are over and Texas Governor Rick Perry can rest assured that he will leave office in January with the state’s government firmly in Republican hands. Now Perry’s attention is turning back to the 2016 Presidential race, starting with a trip to the key early primary state of New Hampshire.
At the victory party for Governor-elect Greg Abbott in downtown Austin on Tuesday night, Perry told the enthusiastic crowd that he shared their joy over the Republicans’ “resounding victory” that night but also admitted that it was “a little bittersweet” because he would “love the chance to serve” with the newly elected conservatives who would be taking office when he left the Governor’s mansion in January. Perry seemed to convey that he felt his political legacy was not yet completed, and is generally assumed to be seriously considering launching a second attempt at running for President.
The announcement about Perry’s New Hampshire trip was sent out by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. Perry will join the New Hampshire Republicans for a series of events on Sunday and Monday, including receptions with Republican Women’s organizations and local GOP county groups, speeches at Dartmouth College and Keene State College, and a luncheon celebrating the United States Marine Corps’ 239th birthday.
All events Perry attends will be open to the press. He is scheduled to return to Texas on Monday evening. Perry had previously been the subject of criticism for going to Europe during the Ebola crisis, and ultimately cut the trip short after the second Ebola case was announced. Ebola is unlikely to interfere with this New Hampshire trip, however, after authorities announced on Friday that everyone who was being monitored for exposure to the disease had completed the twenty-one day incubation window without showing signs of symptoms.
Perry’s ongoing criminal case regarding the charges of abuse of power for his veto of funding for the Public Integrity Unit will also not derail his travel plans, with no further action in the case expected until the judge rules on Perry’s defense attorneys’ motions to disqualify the appointed special prosecutor. Perry himself told the media in a short press conference after a pretrial hearing on Thursday that he is able to “multitask rather well.”
The announcement about Perry’s New Hampshire trip was sent out at nearly 5:00 p.m. Central Time, and requests from the Governor’s office for further comment were not returned as of press time.
Photo credit: Rick Perry via Facebook.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter at @rumpfshaker.