Perry Drops Out, Field Reduced to “Only” 16

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (photo credit: iprimages via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (photo credit: iprimages via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry dropped out of the presidential race on Friday, marking the first casualty of the 2016 campaign.

Via CNN:

The departure of Perry, who had little support in early-voting states or among the GOP donor class, is unlikely to alter the contours of the Republican race. But Perry nevertheless implored his supporters in an email to back a candidate who embodies the principles of conservatism.

“The conservative movement has always been about principles, not personalities,” Perry said, before making a not-too-veiled swipe at Donald Trump, the GOP’s current front-runner. “Our nominee should embody those principles. He — or she — must make the case for the cause of conservatism more than the cause of their own celebrity.”

For almost two years, the swaggering Texan had prepared and studied for a second shot at the presidency. But in a 17-candidate field, Perry found himself weakened by fundraisers who ditched him for his rivals and by top surrogates who defected as his campaign crumbled. He raised only about $1 million in the first fundraising quarter, and he never had enough supporters for him to earn a spot in the premier GOP debates.

Rick Perry is a good man and a strong conservative. It’s a shame to see him bow out. Let’s hope he returns to public service as part of a Republican administration in 2017.

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.