Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday that he will not seek a fourth term as the Lone Star State’s governor, capping a year of speculation and leaving his political future uncertain.
Delivering a Texas-sized victory lap address in San Antonio complete with a soaring video and soundtrack, Perry, who took office in 2000 when George W. Bush resigned to assume the presidency, said “the time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership.”
“Today, I’m announcing I will not seek reelection,” he said.
Perry, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president in 2012 and became the butt of a nation’s jokes for his “oops” flub during a 2011 presidential debate, said he would announce “future considerations” when “appropriate.” He is thought to be eyeing another run for the White House in 2016.
“I will also pray and reflect and work to determine my own future path,” he added, hinting at his future ambitions.
The longest serving governor in Texas history, Perry was facing a potential challenge from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has raised more than $18 million for a run for the statehouse —significantly more than Perry has on hand.
Correction: An earlier version of this story listed Perry has the longest serving governor in the nation. He is in fact the longest serving governor in Texas history. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has been in office for over 18 years.