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Rick Perry is the 47th and current Governor of Texas who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president in 2012. He is Texas's longest-serving governor and chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Elected as George W. Bush's Lieutenant Governor in 1998, Perry became Governor in 2000 and was elected to full terms in 2002, 2006, and 2010. He began his political career as a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives in 1984 and served as chairman of Al Gore's Democratic presidential campaign in Texas in 1988; he switched parties in 1989. He was elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 1990 and re-elected in 1994. A Methodist with evangelical beliefs, Perry proclaimed an official state day of Christian prayer and fasting in 2011, and he enjoys support from both social conservatives and the Tea Party movement. A fifth-generation Texan, Perry attended Texas A&M University and served in the US Air Force.