Valley residents split over Rick Perry's presidential bid
Fri, 12 Aug 2011 00:15:07 GMT —
For weeks, even months, Texas Governor Rick Perry toyed with the thought of seeking the Republican nomination for president.
On Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for the governor confirmed that Perry would announce his bid for president.
"There's no question in my mind that it'll be positive, Hollis Rutledge said. He will definitely be a formidable opponent for any candidate."
Rutledge, former Hidalgo County Republican Party Chair, and a personal friend to Perry, says he is miles above the other half dozen hopefuls that have already started their campaigns.
"Experience counts, he added. Governor Perry has the experience, has the background and people can judge him based on that record."
Rutledge touted Perry's leadership and experience, saying he has helped Texas become an economic powerhouse and a U.S. leader in job growth.
But not everyone is ready to stand behind him in the campaign.
"We're happy to see Perry run for president not because we want him to be president, but because the fact that Texas needs new leadership," Dolly Elizondo, the top Democrat in Hidalgo County said.
She added that Perry faces an uphill battle, in part because of his lack of leadership at the state level, especially this past legislative session.
"Being 47th in the nation in education, our teachers losing their jobs, health care being cut, we're not going to prosper and I think that there'll be a backlash."
But Rutledge sees things differently, "we did have some cuts but not even remotely close to what had been anticipated at the beginning of the session."
Ultimately, voters will have the last word.
Perry is already seen as a top republican contender, one many people feel has what it takes to beat President Barack Obama come November of next year, if he were to gain the nomination..