Texas Governor Perry to run for US president

HOUSTON,  (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry, a  staunch conservative with a Washington outsider’s resume, will  seek the 2012 Republican nomination for U.S. president, his  spokesman said yesterday, adding a top contender to the  party’s field of hopefuls.

Rick Perry

“He will make a definitive announcement on Saturday for the  race,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. Asked if Perry is  indeed joining the race, Miner said, “Yes.”

Perry’s long-awaited entry promises to reshape the crowded  race for the Republican nomination, placing him instantly at or  near the top and potentially pushing out several candidates who  have failed to gain traction in poll ratings or fundraising. The eventual Republican nominee will seek to deny  Democratic President Barack Obama a second term in office in  the November 2012 election. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt  Romney is the early front-runner for the nomination but is seen  as vulnerable.

“I think Perry will shoot to the top of the polls right  away, and be neck and neck with Romney,” said Cal Jillson, a  political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

His campaign confirmed he would run hours before a Thursday  night debate among eight other Republican hopefuls in Iowa.

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