Former Texas Governor and two-time Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry will soon throw on his dancing shoes to join the cast of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
Starting Sept. 12, Perry will join a cast that includes model Amber Rose, rapper Vanilla Ice and swimmer Ryan Lochte, who recently generated international controversy by fabricating a story about being robbed by armed police during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, according to a Monday report from Entertainment Weekly.
Perry confirmed the announcement in a Tuesday tweet showing him with new partner Emma Slater, a professional dancer for DWTS. He said that he will use the show as a “stage” to help veterans.
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) August 30, 2016
Perry served three terms as governor of the Lone Star state and served as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2008 and 2011. He had a strong start in the 2012 presidential race before coming in fifth place in the Iowa caucuses and ultimately dropping out early in the race. The deeply conservative, evangelical Republican ran again in 2016 but ended up becoming the first candidate in a crowded field of 17 to suspend his campaign. Perry left the race after polling poorly following the first debate in September 2015.
He initially endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) before rallying to Donald Trump’s side after Cruz suspended his own campaign. In recent months, he’s served as a surrogate for the Republican nominee he once called a “cancer on conservatism“, campaigning with him in Texas and defending his attacks on a Gold Star family on cable news.
Early polls have shown that Perry could unseat Cruz in a 2018 primary race, though it’s unclear if his turn on reality TV reflects a shift in the Republican politician’s career ambitions.