No Record of Rick Perry Voting in Texas Republican Primary

Former Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to reporters on Jan. 26, 2016, in Albia, Iowa. Perry, a former 2016 candidate for president, endorsed Cruz's presidential bid on Jan. 25, 2016.
Former Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz spoke to reporters on Jan. 26, 2016, in Albia, Iowa. Perry, a former 2016 candidate for president, endorsed Cruz's presidential bid on Jan. 25, 2016.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have stumped for Ted Cruz for president, but there's no record he voted in this year's Republican primary in Texas. A spokesman for Perry suggested his ballot may have been lost in the mail.

Perry is registered to vote in Fayette County, about 75 miles east of Austin, where he and his wife Anita moved after he stepped down as governor in 2015.

Fayette County Elections Administrator Dina Bell confirmed by email on Tuesday that Perry requested a mail-in ballot for the March 1 Republican primary and one was given to him on Feb. 1. Bell recalled that Perry showed up in person to get it but that her office never received the completed ballot. 

"A voted ballot was never received from James Richard Perry," Bell wrote. 

Jeff Miller, Perry's former campaign manager, insists that Perry filled out the ballot and mailed it in.

 

"He says he voted," Miller said. "He sent it within 72 hours of receiving it."

On Jan. 25, Perry endorsed Cruz for president after ending his own presidential bid in September. Throughout late January and February, Perry served as a surrogate for Cruz on the campaign trail.

Cruz won the Texas primary with 44 percent of the vote, followed by 27 percent for billionaire Donald Trump.

From 1992 to 2014, Perry was registered to vote in Travis County, where he voted 61 times including 22 Republican primaries and primary runoff elections, records show.

Perry's failure to vote in this year's Texas primary could lead to more speculation that he is interested in running as an independent candidate for president. Miller ruled out such a run last week and again on Tuesday after Perry's name surfaced in conversations among some conservative activists searching for an independent candidate to support if Donald Trump wins the GOP nomination.

"He's got no interest in running for the independent party," Miller said. 

There are two key requirements in Texas for someone to run as an independent candidate for president.

First, a candidate would have had to abstain from voting in one of the state's primaries because doing so would declare themselves as either a Democrat or Republican. 

Second, a candidate would need to gather 79,939 signatures by May 9 from Texans who had also not voted in either of the primaries that year.

 

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