Rick Perry to Visit New Hampshire

Rick Perry to Visit New Hampshire

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - June 22, 2011

Rick Perry hasn't said whether he is running for president in 2012, but he has signed on to be the keynote speaker at an event hosted by a conservative group based in the early voting state of New Hampshire. This engagement, coupled with news Tuesday that the Texas governor is scheduled to speak at a conservative bloggers event in another early voting state, South Carolina, heightens the buzz that Perry is contemplating a jump into the 2012 pool.

Perry will headline an annual fundraising dinner on Oct. 28 sponsored by Cornerstone Action, a fiscally and socially conservative advocacy group in New Hampshire that has pushed state lawmakers to repeal the same-sex marriage act. The group's executive director, Kevin Smith, told the Hill that he invited Perry in early May.

Speculation surrounding Perry's candidacy has rapidly increased in recent weeks, especially after his well-received appearance at the Republican Leadership Conference in Louisiana last weekend. Though he wasn't on the event's straw-poll ballot (won by Rep. Ron Paul), he drew enthusiastic applause during a speech in which he told Republicans to stop "trying to curry favor" with the left.

A Perry supporter has been scoping out the political climate in Iowa and the governor is slated to speak at an August event in South Carolina put on by the conservative RedState blog. And without a strong Southern candidate in the White House race, the governor, who was elected to his third term in Texas last year and chairs the Republican Governors Association, could find himself well positioned to run. He is expected to announce whether he will seek the GOP nomination within a few weeks.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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