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The Elephants in the Room: Perry, Abbott and the 2014 Governor's Race

Ben Philpott, KUT News

The question emerged the moment Gov. Rick Perry ended his 2012 presidential campaign: Would he run for governor again in 2014?

So far, Gov. Perry has deflected the question by saying he won't make an announcement any sooner than June 2013 – once the upcoming legislative session is finished.

But earlier this week one of the Governor's advisors, former state senator Ken Armbrister, told a crowd at the University of Texas that Perry would be running again in 2014.

The governor's office quickly knocked down that assertion, saying Perry is the only person who will be make that announcement. And Perry’s office reiterated, once again, that any announcement won't come any sooner than June.

If Perry decides to run, he could get a stiff challenge from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Abbott is sitting on large campaign war chest. And word on the street (i.e., the halls of the Capitol) is that he's ready to make the move up from Attorney General.

Abbott and Perry held a joint press conference today to talk about their support for a group of high school cheerleaders who are being sued for using bible verses on their football signs. But the question of whether the two would be political adversaries in 2014 invariably came up.

When asked if he was running in 2014, Gov. Perry said he would make up his mind – all together now! – in June.

Abbott was then asked if he had made up his mind. His answer?

"You know I think come June” – at which point Abbott, Perry and the room erupted into laughter – “we'll evaluate where we are."

"Stick around 'til June,” Perry added. “Should be an interesting month."

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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