Editor's note: This story has been updated with a comment from state Rep. Jonathan Stickland.
Far from the presidential campaign trail he departed months ago, former Gov. Rick Perry is wading into another Texas Republican primary race.
The longest-serving governor in Texas history is endorsing Bedford pastor Scott Fisher in his bid to unseat firebrand state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, Fisher's campaign announced Tuesday.
"Scott Fisher knows how to take strong conservative values and turn them into successful conservative policies," Perry said in a statement circulated by Fisher’s campaign. "Scott is a conservative that can get things done."
The statement also praised Fisher's work at the Texas Ethics Commission and Texas Youth Commission — Perry had appointed him to positions on both panels.
Stickland, a polarizing figure in the Texas House, responded by calling Perry an "Austin insider," who he is not trying to represent.
"I've served my district for nearly 4 years now and have never tried to represent Austin insiders, only the conservatives in my District," he said in a written statement to the Tribune. "I'm proud to have their support in my re-election campaign."
Stickland was first elected in 2012 to represent House District 92.
It is the fourth time Perry has weighed in on a Texas race since August. His other endorsements include: state Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, who is seeking to replace outgoing state Sen. Kevin Eltife; Austin ophthalmologist Dawn Buckingham, who is looking to succeed retiring state Sen. Troy Fraser; and Bill Waybourn, who is campaigning to unseat Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson.
In September, a spokeswoman for Perry said he had no overarching strategy for endorsements.
"We're focused on our primary and make those decisions on a case-by-case basis at the appropriate time," Lucy Nashed, his spokesman at the time, told the Tribune.
Patrick Svitek contributed to this report.