Perry for President?

Rick Perry

Rio Grande Valley Republicans told Action 4 News that they will support Gov. Rick Perry, if he decides to run for president in 2012.

The Associated Press reported on Friday morning that Perry will consider seeking the Republican nomination for president.

Perry is the longest serving governor in Texas history.

He had been saying for months that he wasn't interested in running for the White House but had a change of heart on Friday morning.

Perry told The Associated Press that he will decide whether to enter the race after the Texas Legislature adjourns on Monday.

The Texas governor made the announcement while speaking at a ceremonial signing event for legislation that will require Texas voters to present photo identification at polling places.

Former Harlingen Mayor Connie De la Garza told Action 4 News that he and other Valley Republicans would definitely support Perry in any presidential bid.

De La Garza said in a telephone interview that Perry is strong on issues where he had to make tough decisions such as balancing the budget and border security.

But De La Garza said the biggest factor for Perry would be outcome of the current legislative session.

The former Harlingen mayor said Perry's plan for the legislative session is to balance the Lone Star State's budget without raising taxes.

But De La Garza said Perry's plan has upset school administrators and teacher groups but believes it will be better for Texas in the long run.

"He makes tough decisions and he stands by those decisions," De La Garza said of Perry.

De La Garza said he's known Perry for years even before he was governor and has many supporters in the Valley.

"If enough people ask him (to run), he'll do it," De La Garza said.

If Perry decides to run for president, De La Garza predicted Perry would win in Cameron County, which has voted Republican in the past three presidential elections.

The former Harlingen mayor predicted Perry would likely lose to a Democratic opponent in Hidalgo and Starr Counties but it would be a toss up in Willacy County.

De La Garza once served on a 10-person planning committee for Perry's gubernatorial inauguration back in 2000.

Both former Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Perry appointed De La Garza to serve on the Texas State Technical College Board.