Gov. Rick Perry’s presidential odyssey ended in January, but the bills for the security force that protected him on the campaign trail keep pouring in, boosting the pricetag to almost $3 million so far.
The Department of Public Safety released new figures Friday for the travel expenditures incurred by his security detail. The department added more than $900,000 to the amounts it had previously released, accounting for travel vouchers that were submitted since the last report about three months ago.
The travel costs — for hotels, airfare, fuel and other expenses incurred by the agents assigned to Perry and his family — amount to about $1.7 million so far.
Previously released figures show the department spent about $1.1 million in overtime pay for the governor's protection during the period he was seeking the GOP presidential nomination, from mid-August through late January. That brings the total cost as of late February to about $2.8 million.
The amount is likely to grow as more bills come in and get processed.
Critics have called on Perry to reimburse the money from donated campaign funds. Perry and his aides have said repeatedly that DPS is charged with protecting him and his family and have dismissed calls to reimburse the state for the expenses.
“It’s unfortunate we live in a world where security is such a top concern,” said Perry spokeswoman Catherine Frazier. “But that is the case, and providing a security detail has been a tradition going back several administrations.”