Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced Monday that he would not seek an unprecedented fourth full gubernatorial term. He previously served as George W. Bush's lieutenant governor for the state, taking over the governor's mansion in 2000, when Bush resigned to become president. He has since been elected for the state's top post three times.
But Perry, who made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, left the door open Monday for a 2016 presidential run, saying that he would spend the remainder of his term leading "this great state" and praying and reflecting to "determine my own future path."
"I will arrive at that decision appropriately," he said.
Perry touted his own accomplishments as governor and called his position the "greatest job in modern politics."
The social conservative has most recently made national headlines for his decision to call two special legislative session to pass strict abortion laws after Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis successfully led a more than 10 hour filibuster to prevent the GOP-dominated Texas Senate from passing the legislation before the first special session ended.
"We have better protected the right to life for Texas children," Perry said in his speech Monday. "Texas is and will remain a pro-life, pro-family and pro-freedom state."