Rick Perry won't seek fourth term as Texas governor

July 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM

SAN ANTONIO, July 8 (UPI) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, announced Monday he won't seek re-election to a fourth term in 2014.

"The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," he said at a news conference in San Antonio.

Perry has been governor since 2000, when as the state's second in command he stepped in to the governorship when George W. Bush became president in mid-term. Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas history, with three four-year terms in addition to the partial term.

Texas has no term limits for the office.

Perry said he is looking forward to serving out his term and will announce his future plans when it's appropriate, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

"My focus will be on Texas," he said.

Perry, a conservative, recently announced a second special legislative session so lawmakers could consider a bill that would place restrictions on abortion clinics and doctors, and ban abortions after 22 weeks. The measure failed in a special session in June after a filibuster in the Senate.

Perry was a GOP favorite when he entered the candidate-rich sweepstakes to be the party's presidential nominee, but was hurt by a string of poor showings in early debates. After a fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, he skipped New Hampshire to focus on South Carolina, where he failed to gain any traction. When he bowed out, Perry endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and the nomination ultimately went to Mitt Romney.

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