Rick Perry (James Richard Perry), 1950–, American politician, governor of Texas (2000–), b. Haskell, Tex. A fifth-generation Texan from the state's agricultural western plains, he attended Texas A&M Univ. (grad. 1972). He was a member of the Texas House of Representatives (1985–90) before becoming the state's commissioner of agriculture in 1991. Perry was George W. Bush's running mate in the Texas gubernatorial election of 1994, was elected lieutenant governor, and became governor when Bush was elected to the presidency. Perry was elected governor in 2002 and reelected in 2006 and 2010. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.