Rick Perry

14th United States Secretary of Energy

James Richard "Rick" Perry (born March 4, 1950) is an American former politician. He was the 14th United States Secretary of Energy from March 2, 2017 through December 1, 2019. He was the Governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015. He is a Republican. He became governor when George W. Bush became President, and has been elected three more times. Perry was the longest governor in the United States for 14 years.

Rick Perry
14th United States Secretary of Energy
In office
March 2, 2017 – December 1, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
DeputyDan Brouillette
Preceded byErnest Moniz
Succeeded byDan Brouillette
47th Governor of Texas
In office
December 21, 2000 – January 20, 2015
LieutenantBill Ratliff
David Dewhurst
Preceded byGeorge W. Bush
Succeeded byGreg Abbott
39th Lieutenant Governor of Texas
In office
January 19, 1999 – December 21, 2000
GovernorGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byBob Bullock
Succeeded byBill Ratliff
9th Agriculture Commissioner of Texas
In office
January 15, 1991 – January 19, 1999
GovernorAnn Richards
George W. Bush
Preceded byJim Hightower
Succeeded bySusan Combs
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 64th district
In office
January 8, 1985 – January 8, 1991
Preceded byJoe Hanna
Succeeded byJohn Cook
Personal details
James Richard Perry

(1950-03-04) March 4, 1950 (age 74)
Haskell, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (1989–present)
Other political
Democratic (Before 1989)
Spouse(s)Anita Thigpen (m. 1982)
EducationTexas A&M University, College Station (BS)
WebsiteOfficial website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service1972–1977[1]
Rank Captain
Unit772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron

On December 13, 2016, then-President-elect Donald Trump nominated Perry to serve as United States Secretary of Energy during his administration.[2] He was confirmed by the United States senate on March 2, 2017.

Early life


Perry was born in Haskell, Texas. His parents were Joseph Perry and Amelia Holt. He grew up in West Texas and studied at Texas A&M University. During his early years, he was a farmer and a pilot.

Early career


In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from district 64, which included his home county of Haskell. He served on the House Appropriations and Calendars committees during his three two-year terms in office.

In 1990, as a newly Republican, Perry challenged Jim Hightower, the incumbent Democratic Agriculture Commissioner. Karl Rove was Perry’s campaign manager.[3] Perry won the election.

In April 1993, Perry, while serving as Texas agriculture commissioner, expressed support for the effort to reform the nation's health care, describing it as "most commendable".[4]

In 1994, Perry was reelected Agriculture Commissioner by a large margin.

In 1998, Perry chose not to seek a third term as Agriculture Commissioner, running instead for Lieutenant Governor to succeed the retiring Democrat Bob Bullock. He won the election.

Governor of Texas (2000-2015)


Perry assumed the office of governor on December 21, 2000, following the resignation of George W. Bush – who was preparing to become President of the United States. In the 2001 legislative session, Perry set a record for his use of the veto, rejecting 82 acts, more than any other governor in any single legislative session in the history of the state since Reconstruction.[5] [6][7] He was elected again in 2002. In 2002, Perry described the Texas same-sex anti-sodomy law as "appropriate".[8]

Perry's campaigns for lieutenant governor and governor focused on a tough stance on crime. He has supported block grants for crime programs.[9] In 2007, Perry signed a law ending automatic arrest for cannabis possession.[10]

Perry supports the death penalty.[11] In June 2002, he vetoed a ban on the execution of mentally retarded inmates.[9] As of September 18, 2014, there have been 278 executions since Perry first took office in December 2000.[12]

Perry was re-elected in 2006 and in 2010. In 2014, Perry announced that he would not run for a fourth term.[13]



On August 15, 2014, Perry was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges for abuse of power. He was accused of threatening a Democratic District Attorney who had been convicted of drunk driving to resign by threatening to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors.[14][15][16] The indictment received some support and also wide criticism from all sides of the political parties, and editorial criticism from major US newspapers.

Presidential runs


2012 presidential campaign


Perry also ran for President of the United States in the 2012 Republican primaries.[17] He was one of the last candidates to enter the race. He was a frontrunner for the nomination during the first month of his campaign, but he did not do well in many of the debates. On January 19, 2012, Perry withdrew his campaign and endorsed Newt Gingrich.

2016 presidential campaign


On June 4, 2015, Perry officially announced his bid with a new web site and a press conference at Addison Airport outside Dallas, Texas.[18][19][20] Perry then announced his candidacy at the scheduled press conference.[21] On September 11, 2015, Perry dropped out of the race after poor polling after the first debate.[22] He later announced his support for Ted Cruz and later Donald Trump for president.

2018 Texas United States senate race


Perry has been mentioned as a possible challenger to U.S. Senator and fellow 2016 Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz in 2018.[23] Speculation about Cruz being challenged in the Republican primary arose during the 2016 Republican National Convention, when Cruz refused to endorse Donald Trump, the eventual Republican presidential nominee, whom Perry had endorsed after Cruz suspended his campaign.[24] In a poll conducted from August 12 to 14 of that year by Public Policy Polling, Perry had a 46%-37% lead over Cruz.[25] In November 2016, Perry declined to enter the senate race and endorsed Cruz in the elections.

United States Secretary of Energy (2017–2019)


On December 12, 2016, multiple sources reported that Perry is to be nominated by President-elect of the United States Trump to serve as Secretary of the United States Department of Energy.[26] His nomination was approved by a 16-7 vote from the United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on January 31, 2017.[27]

Perry and Zelenksy, May 2019.

On March 2, 2017, Perry was confirmed by the United States Senate in a 62-37 vote.

On October 17, 2019, Perry told Trump he would resign by the end of the year.[28] He officially stepped down on December 1, 2019.

Trump–Ukraine controversy


A July 25, 2019 telephone call between Trump and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky led in September to a whistleblower complaint and an impeachment inquiry against Trump. Two weeks after the inquiry was launched, Trump claimed in a conference call with Congressional Republican leaders that he had only made the telephone call at Perry's urging.[29] Perry denied ever mentioning Joe Biden in his discussions with Trump or Ukrainian officials.[30]

Personal life


Although Perry is a Methodist, he now attends an Evangelical "megachurch".[31] He is also an Eagle Scout. Perry married Anita Thigpen in 1982. Together, they have two children.

On August 30, 2016, Perry was announced as one of the celebrities who would compete on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with professional dancer Emma Slater.[32] Perry and Slater were eliminated on the third week of competition and finished in 12th place.[33]


  1. Kudlow, Larry (March 6, 2015). "Captain Rick Perry: Time for a military man in the White House?". CNBC. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  2. "Major Garrett: Donald Trump chooses Rick Perry to be energy secretary". www.cbsnews.com.
  3. Bickerstaff, Steve (2010). Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom DeLay. University of Texas Press. p. 21. ISBN 9780292783058.
  4. Ashford-Grooms, Meghan (September 24, 2011). "Ron Paul says Rick Perry wrote a letter supporting Hillarycare". Austin American-Statesman / PolitiFact.com. Retrieved October 18, 2011.
  5. "The Executive Branch: Budgetary Powers" Archived 2014-02-23 at the Wayback Machine, Texas Politics, University of Texas at Austin, retrieved June 20, 2011
  6. "The Limits of the Veto" Archived 2014-02-28 at the Wayback Machine, Texas Politics, University of Texas at Austin, retrieved June 20, 2011
  7. Aaronson, Becca (June 17, 2011). "Vetoes — Then and Now". The Texas Tribune. Austin. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  8. "Perry calls sodomy law 'appropriate'". Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. December 4, 2002. Archived from the original on February 2, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Public Notes on 01-NGA10". On The Issues. September 14, 2001. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  10. Yoder, Steve (November 7, 2011). "The GOP, 'tough on crime' no more?" Salon.
  11. Thomas, Evan; Brant, Martha (November 10, 2007). "Injection of Reflection". Newsweek. Retrieved June 22, 2008.
  12. "Death Row Information: Executed Offenders". Texas Dept of Criminal Justice. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  13. "Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces he will not seek re-election in 2014". KTRK. July 8, 2013. Archived from the original on July 11, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  14. "Perry indicted". Washington Post. August 15, 2014. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  15. "Texas Governor Rick Perry indicted by grand jury". Archived from the original on August 15, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
  16. "Texas Gov. Rick Perry is indicted". LA times. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  17. "HuffPost - Breaking News, U.S. And World News". HuffPost.
  18. Weissert, Will; Peoples, Steve (4 June 2015). "Rick Perry announces 2016 bid, a re-do from 2012". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2015-06-04.
  19. Bradner, Eric (June 4, 2015). "Rick Perry launches comeback bid for White House - CNNPolitics.com". CNN. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. Camia, Catalina; Jervis, Rick (4 June 2015). "Rick Perry launches 2016 presidential campaign". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2015-06-04.
  21. Beckwith , Ryan Teague; Rhodan, Maya (June 4, 2015). "Rick Perry Announces Presidential Bid". Time. Retrieved June 4, 2015.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  22. Tribune, The Texas; Livingston, Aman Batheja, Patrick Svitek and Abby (11 September 2015). "Rick Perry Suspends Presidential Campaign". The Texas Tribune.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. Barrouquere, Brett (August 25, 2016). "Ted Cruz eyeing 2020, but must clear Rick Perry, others for re-election". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  24. Carney, Jordain (August 24, 2016). "Trump: Rick Perry would 'do well' against Cruz". The Hill. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  25. "2018 Texas Republican Primary Pollings" (PDF). Public Policy Polling. August 17, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  26. "Rick Perry tapped to be energy secretary under Donald Trump, reports say". mcclatchydc.
  27. Wolfgang, Ben (January 31, 2017). "Rick Perry, Ryan Zinke clear Senate committee with bipartisan support". The Washington Times. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  28. Haberman, Maggie; Friedman, Lisa (2019-10-17). "Perry Tells Trump He Will Resign as Energy Secretary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  29. "Trump blames Energy Secretary Rick Perry for Ukraine call at center of impeachment inquiry". NBC News. October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  30. Calicchio, Dom (October 6, 2019). "Rick Perry denies discussing Bidens with Trump or Ukraine officials: reports". Fox News. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  31. "www.statesman.com".
  32. "'DWTS' 2016 Celebrity Cast Revealed: Ryan Lochte, Amber Rose, Rick Perry Among Star Lineup". Good Morning America: Yahoo. August 30, 2016. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  33. "'Dancing with the Stars' Results Live Blog: The Second Elimination". buddytv.com. September 27, 2016. Retrieved September 27, 2016.

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