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Rick Perry, born James Richard Perry on March 4, 1950, is the 47th and current Governor of Texas.
Rick Perry was born in Paint Creek, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Abilene in West Texas, to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt. Young Perry graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968.
Perry was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States. He is the longest-serving governor in Texas state history.
A known Republican, Perry was elected Governor in 2002, 2006 and 2010. He is the longest continuously serving current U.S. governor, with tenure in office to date of 10 years, 234 days.
Perry served as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2008 (succeeding Sonny Perdue of Georgia) and again in 2011. He is also a member of the National Governors Association, the Western Governors Association, and the Southern Governors Association.
He promotes himself as a social conservative. He promoted a successful Texas Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2005, and fought reproductive rights by signing both parental notification and parental consent legislation for pregnant minors seeking abortions. He is also strongly against embryonic stem cell research. (Source: rickperry.org.)
On August 11, 2011, a spokesman for Perry told the Associated Press that Perry is running for President. Perry is expected to announce his presidential bid Saturday, August 13.
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