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Politics

Rick Perry Makes It Official: He's Running for President, Again

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Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune
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Gov. Rick Perry on the House dais in his final speech to the Texas Legislature on Jan. 15, 2015.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has (as expected) declared he's pursuing the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Perry announced first online this morning (in this web video and new website), ahead of his in-person announcement later in North Texas.

Perry has been on the road for many months, traveling to early primary states to convince voters he deserves a second chance at the nomination. You may recall that his first attempt, for the 2012 nomination, didn't go so well. While he polled well at the outset in 2011, a series of gaffes, culminating in the famous "oops" moment during a debate, left voters with the impression that he wasn't well prepared. Perry has admitted as much.

"The process of preparation to be considered for the nomination is a long and substantive path. I did not do that in 2011 and 2012. And I will suggest I paid a pretty substantive price for that,” he said in the Reagan Library speech.

For this time, Perry has boned up on the basics, retaining advisors to drill him on every potential topic he'll be asked about. 

Of course, he still has two felony indictments hanging over him, over allegations he abused his power when he threatened to veto funding for the Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit (which investigates corruption at the state level), unless Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg resigned. The case is still working its way through the courts. Perry's lawyers are trying to get the charges dismissed even before a trial. A state appeals court will hear arguments over whether the case should be thrown out later this year. But either way that goes, the matter is likely to continue to exist in some form through the 2016 primary season.

After his campaign announcement event today, Perry will head to Iowa and New Hampshire over the weekend, and South Carolina early next week.

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