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Republican politician Rick Perry was elected governor of Texas in 2000, and ran for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential race.
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Republican politician Rick Perry was born on March 4, 1950, in the small community of Paint Creek, Texas. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 1972, Perry worked as a salesman, Air Force officer and cotton farmer. He was elected governor of Texas in 2000. Perry later made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2012 election.
A Texas native, Rick Perry was born on March 4, 1950, in Paint Creek, a tiny unincorporated community in West Texas. His father, Joseph Ray Perry, and mother, the former Amelia June Holt, were ranchers. Perry's father also served as the Haskell County commissioner for many years and introduced his son to politics. As a boy, Perry was active in the Boy Scouts, and eventually earned the highest rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968 and entered Texas A&M University. During college, Perry became one of A&M's five yell leaders (analogous to male cheerleaders). He was also known for his many pranks played on fellow classmates. In 1972, Perry graduated with a bachelor's degree in animal science. While in college he also joined the Corps of Cadets and earned a commission in the Air Force, completed pilot training, and flew C-130 tactical airlift until 1977. He left the Air Force with the rank of captain and returned to Texas. Soon he had entered the cotton farming business with his father.
In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. As a Democrat, he served three two-year terms in office. In 1988, Perry supported Al Gore in the Democratic presidential primaries and chaired the Gore campaign in Texas. In 1989, Perry announced that he was switching to the Republican party. The next year, as a newly minted Republican, Perry challenged Jim Hightower, the incumbent Democratic Agriculture Commissioner, and won. He served as the Agriculture Commissioner until he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998. He assumed the governorship in December 2000 when then-governor George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States. Perry was elected in his own right to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
In April 2011, Perry announced he would run for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in the 2012 presidential election. He faced stiff competition, however, from Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. During his campaign, Perry spoke out in favor of a smaller federal government, a flat 20 percent tax and developing energy security for the nation. He touted his accomplishments in Texas, especially in the area of job creation, and called for the closure of the departments of education and commerce.
On the national stage, Perry failed to attract enough voters to become a leader in the race. His mediocre performances during debates did not help his cause either. After a disappointing finishes in Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary, Perry withdrew from the race. "As a Texan, I have never shied away from a good fight ... But as someone who has always admired a great Texas forefather—Sam Houston—I know when it is time for a 'strategic retreat.'" In his resignation statement, he threw his support behind his former adversary Newt Gingrich, calling him a "conservative visionary."
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Incorporated in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was founded with the aim of instilling ethics and morals into the lives of young boys. A Scout is a "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent," boy who, above all, strives to "be prepared" and "do his best." The highest order of these Boy Scouts are the Eagle Scouts, a rare group of young men who rise through the scouting ranks to earn 21 merit badges, serve for six months in a troop leadership position, and successfully complete a strict Eagle Scout board of review, among other requirements.
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