Rick Perry is the Republican Governor of Texas. He took office on Dec. 21, 2000, after his predecessor, George W. Bush was declared the President of the United States. Perry was elected in his own right in 2002 and reelected in 2006 by winning a four-way race against Democratic candidate Chris Bell, Independent Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Independent Kinky Friedman and Libertarian James Werner. See Texas gubernatorial election, 2006.
Between 1972 and 1977, Perry served in the U.S. Air Force. Prior to being elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, he served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and four terms in the Texas House of Representatives.
Perry married his childhood sweetheart, Anita Thigpen, in 1982. They have two children and are members of Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin.