Rick Perry's service to Texas has been long and productive. It began in 1984, when Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served three two year terms and was noted for his austerity stance on State budgets. In 1990, following six years in the Legislature, Perry successfully challenged Jim Hightower for the office of Texas Agricultural Commissioner.
In 1998, Rick Perry ran successfully for the office of Lieutenant Governor to succeed the retiring Bob Bullock and to become the first Republican Lieutenant Governor of Texas since reconstruction. He assumed the Governorship two years later, in December 2000, when George W. Bush resigned the office to become President.
During his fourteen years at the helm of the greatest State in the Union, Governor Perry has guided Texas with a firm moral hand. In 2005, he was instrumental in getting an amendment added to the Texas Constitution banning queer so-called "marriage" in the State of Texas.
In 2003, he pushed through the Prenatal Protection Act, which made it a crime to kill an unborn "person." And in 2013, when Wendy Davis successfully filibustered Senate bill 5, imposing common sense restrictions on Texas abortion mills, past the close of the Legislative session, Governor Perry promptly called a special session of the Legislature and got the bill passed and signed into law.
But Governor Perry's most significant contribution to Texas has been economic. In 2000, California was the leading export State in the Union. Perry grew Texas exports from less than $100 billion in 2000 to more than $264.7 billion by 2012, more than California's $162 billion and New York's $81.4 billion combined. If Texas were a sovereign country, we would be the 12th largest economy in the world, comparable to Canada, Russia, and South Korea. And much of this was accomplished while the rest of the country was in an economic doldrum.
The Texas unemployment rate is currently at 4.2%, compared to a national average of 5.5% It has been at or below the national rate for the past 8 1/2 years. All these phenomena didn't just happen. They were a direct result of fiscal responsibility and business friendly tax policies embraced and enforced by the State House.
Between overseeing the Texas economy and sending Texas Guard troops to the Mexican border, Rick Perry found time to write two books while in office, On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For in 2008, and in 2010, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington.
I don't know where Rick Perry will go from here, but there is one thing of which we can be sure. Rick Perry will continue to serve the State and the People of Texas in whatever capacity he can. Because Rick Perry is a Texan.