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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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"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."
In July 2013, Perry—who, by this time,
had become the longest-serving Texas governor in history—made headlines when he announced that he would not seek re-election in 2014; he stated that he would be leaving office following the 2014 elections, retiring at the end of his term, on January 20, 2015. "The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," Perry stated during a news conference, adding that he isn't opposed to the idea of possibly running again for the U.S. presidency, according to USA Today.
Perry promotes himself as a social conservative. He supported a successful Texas Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2005. He also signed both parental notification and parental consent legislation for pregnant minors seeking abortions. In 2003, he signed the Prenatal Protection Act, which explicitly included fetuses in its definition of human life.
Perry is also strongly against embryonic stem cell research. Perry came to national attention through the Tea Party's support of his socially conservative views, which came to light with his promotion of "The Response USA," an Evangelical Christian prayer rally he co-sponsored in 2011 in partnership with the American Family Association.
In conjucntion with his conservative views, Perry signed a bill further restricting abortions in July of 2013. As part of the bill, all abortions in Texas after 20 weeks of pregnancy will be banned. The controversial bill gained the media's attention for a month before it was signed by Perry. Prior to it's signing, the bill failed after Senator Wendy Davis spent more more than ten hours attempting to filibuster the bill. Soon after it failed, Perry called for lawmakers to reevaluate the bill in a second special session, which led to its signing.
Perry grew up in the Methodist church, and he and his family had been members of Tarrytown United Methodist Church since the 1990s, the same church that President George W. Bush attended in Austin. In 1982, Perry married Anita Thigpen, his childhood sweetheart whom he had known since elementary school. They have two grown children, Griffin and Sydney.
Rick Perry has written two books: On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For (2008) and Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington (2010).
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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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