Sources close to Texas Gov. Rick Perry claim he will “meet in person with more than 500 major donors and bundlers from around the country in December,” at a major gathering in Texas designed to set the stage for a run at the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Perry may have to compete for deep pocketed donors, including in Texas, as both Jeb Bush and Senator Ted Cruz are making noise about running and both have ties to Texas, as well. Reports indicate both have already begun to court donors.
The first big challenge for Perry will be dealing with doubts about his viability given a disastrous outing in 2012. Even Perry himself has admitted he “bungled” it.
Things would be different if he ran again, say sources who have interacted with the three-term governor, who is leaving the office after having held it longer than any other person in Texas history. They describe his health as “tip-top” and his policy expertise as light years ahead of where it was in the last presidential cycle — all of which he intends to highlight in his December donor meetings.
“If Gov. Perry is going to run, he’s going to be better prepared, and he’s going to have the resources necessary to compete,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican national committeeman who is helping plan for a Perry 2016 campaign and organizing next week’s donor sessions.