This time, the former governor who decided against running for re-election in 2014, starts as an underdog. His status as the only potential candidate currently under indictment won’t help, though his supporters dismiss the charges against him as purely political. The case stems from Perry’s threats to veto money for a statewide public integrity unit unless the prosecutor leading it stepped down after being arrested for drunk driving.
Perry is also facing a fight for the Texas contributors who have long lined up to support him. Rivals with their own Texas ties include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who can draw on the Bush family’s long association with the Lone Star State; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose father, former Rep. Ron Paul, was a member of the Texas congressional delegation.
Here’s more on Perry’s political and financial history:
Sources: Center for Public Integrity reporting, as well as the Center for Responsive Politics, Dallas Morning News, Federal Election Commission, Houston Chronicle, the National Institute for Money in State Politics, New York Times, Texans for Public Justice, usaeconfreedom.org and Washington Post.
Image sources: Ed Schipul/Flickr; Phelan Edenhack/AP; Mark Humphrey/AP; Gage Skidmore/Flickr