When we last checked on the quest to secure blue-chip endorsements in the GOP primary for governor, the score was, as we joked in a headline, Kay Bailey Hutchison 41, Rick Perry 0 — referring to the buzzworthy backing of George H.W. Bush, which was taken by many as confirmation that Bushworld, family and close associates, has thrown its dynastic weight behind the senior U.S. Senator in her bid to unseat the incumbent.
Now the incumbent has come roaring back, sort of, with a big-brand presidential endorsement of his own. "Former Reagan Officials Endorse Gov. Perry for Re-election," reads the headline of the just-circulated press release (see below), touting support for Perry from such stalwarts as the Gipper's Regional Director of the Civil Aeronautics Board and Inspector General of the Department of Interior. In all, twenty mid- and low-level appointees are on the list, not counting three "Reagan alumni" whose endorsements were previously known, including that of Tom Pauken, listed as "White House Counsel's Office" but currently known as the Perry-appointed head of the Texas Workforce Commission. One Reagan official not on the list: White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury Jim Baker, who preceded — and may have ultimately influenced — Bush 41 in coming out for KBH.
So the epic battle of Bush vs. Perry morphing into Reagan vs. Bush. Your move, Kay. I'm sure there are a few Nixon alums who are still up for grabs.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry has received the endorsement of more than 20 leaders of President Ronald Reagan's Administration. Marking Ronald Reagan’s 99th birthday on Feb. 6, 2010, these Texas Reagan alumni have recognized Gov. Perry for his commitment to conservative values and the need for his continued leadership in Texas.
“These Texans who helped to elect Ronald Reagan and run his administration believe that Gov. Perry’s policies and approach to governing are almost identical to that of President Reagan’s,” said Doug Cannon, former Reagan official in the White House Office of Policy Development. “We are proud of his leadership over our state and look forward to the ongoing opportunity and prosperity our state will enjoy with him as governor.”
The individuals endorsing Gov. Perry are former executives of President Reagan’s administration and members of the Reagan Alumni Association, a group dedicated to fostering the values espoused by President Reagan and celebrating his birthday every year on February 6th.
“I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve made in Texas to keep taxes low, create jobs and uphold a business-friendly environment that has made us one of the strongest states in the nation,” said Gov. Perry. “I’m honored to receive the support of the members of President Reagan’s team who have made such a significant impact in the effort to encourage and spread the conservative values that make our nation great.”
The following members of President Reagan’s Administration are endorsing Gov. Perry for re-election:
Ernie Angelo, Midland
Texas Chairman, Reagan for President, 1980
Diana Denman, San Antonio
Peace Corps Presidential Advisory Board, Co-Chairman
Former Vice-Chairman, Republican Party of Texas
Douglas Cannon, Houston
White House Office of Policy Development
Department of Education, Special Advisor for Management
Lee William McNutt III, Dallas
White House Office of Privatization
Chairman, Arts Commission of Texas
Tom Wilder, Fort Worth
Reagan for President 1980, Texas Steering Committee
Tarrant County District Clerk
Maurice Barksdale, Arlington
Dept of Housing and Urban Development, Assistant Secretary
Co-Chairman, Texas Blacks for Reagan/Bush
Shirley Medlyn McDonald, Granbury
White House Office of Presidential Personnel
Ray Van Buskirk, Baytown
Department of Education, Director of Grants and Contracts
Chairman, Texas Youth for Reagan-Bush, 1980 Campaign
H. Eugene Douglas, Austin
Department of State, Ambassador
Bill Chatfield, Irving
Civil Aeronautics Board, Regional Director
Department of Defense, Special Assistant
Jo Ann Gasper, Colleyville
Department of Health and Human Services, Deputy Assistant Secretary
Louis Gasper, Colleyville
Dept of Housing and Urban Development
Chairman, Center for Business Ethics at University of Dallas
Brunetta Centner, Arlington
Department of Justice
Richard Centner, Arlington
U.S. Information Agency/ Voice of America
Department of Transportation
Department of Education, Intergovernmental Advisory Council
Richard Mulberry, Dallas
Department of Interior, Inspector General
Wilson Scaling, Henrietta
Department of Agriculture, Chief, Social Conservation Ser.
Don Shelton, Fort Worth
Department of Transportation, Southwest Regional Representative
Robert Layton, Tyler
Environmental Protection Agency, Southwest Regional Director
Ronald Wade, Longview
Press Liaison for Vice President George Bush
The following Texan Reagan alumni have already endorsed Gov. Perry:
Tom Pauken, Austin
Former Chairman, Republican Party of Texas
Director, ACTION Agency
White House Counsel’s Office
Bill Bennett, Washington, D.C.
Secretary of Education for President Reagan
T. Boone Pickens, Dallas
Texas Finance Chairman, Reagan-Bush Campaign
Reagan Presidential Library, Board of Directors
Peggy Venable, Austin
Department of Interior – Public Affairs Asst. Director
Chairman, Americans for Prosperity
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.