Ken Armbrister, Gov. Rick Perry’s legislative director, told a crowd on the University of Texas at Austin campus Tuesday that his boss had told him he had decided to run for re-election in 2014 — a definitive statement that seemed to put to rest speculation over the longest-serving Texas chief executive’s future.
But a spokeswoman for Perry quickly rebuffed the statement from her colleague, saying “the only person to make that announcement is Governor Perry.”
“He has said multiple times he will make [the decision] after the legislative session,” Catherine Frazier said. “That door is open. He wants to keep doing what he’s doing. But he’s not going to make an official decision now.”
Armbrister’s comment was made at the 8th Biennial Pre-Session Legislative Conference, an event hosted by the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Strategic Partnerships, Inc. Armbrister, who formerly served in the Texas House and Senate, appeared on a “Legislative Insights” panel alongside state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, and Texas Department of Criminal Justice Board Chairman Oliver Bell.
Armbrister's statement about the governor's plans came in response to a question from the panel's moderator, Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith, who asked if 2014 and 2016 politics would impact the 2013 session the way 2012 politics impacted the 2011 session. Armbrister went on to say that governance issues rather than politics would be the focus of the governor's office but suggested that the former served the latter, because politicians don't want to run on a record of failure.