East Texas Republican leaders react to Perry's presidential announcement

East Texas Republican leaders react to Perry's presidential announcement

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It did not take long for Rick Perry's presidential announcement to get reaction from East Texas republicans.

"I cannot endorse any candidate right now, but Perry is a strong candidate for the presidency," Angelina County Republican Chairman Bob Flournoy said. "I think he will make a better candidate this time then before."

Perry's announcement to run for president in 2016 makes him the 10th republican to announce they are running. Perry also joins Texas U.S. senator Ted Cruz. Flournoy said having two candidates from Texas shows the strength of the state.

"It shows that Texas has been producing some great leaders, and any of them could be a very fine president," Flournoy said.

Nacogdoches County Republican Chairman Jackie Yates said Perry should be able to learn from his first run and prove himself as a legitimate candidate.

"He has been dealing with the U.S. border and he's produced over 2 million jobs so he can pull that experience on as leader of the country" Yates said. "Also, you have to take into account he did that while balancing the budget."

Yates said one thing Perry must overcome is his indictment in 2014. Perry was indicted by the Travis County District Attorney for abuse of power. The office stated Perry threatened to veto funding for the state's integrity unit, unless the district attorney resigned after getting a DWI charge.

"He's got enough time to overcome that," Yates said. "He's got a lot of people behind him right now and he is polling well."

Flournoy said Perry's one weakness seems to be his debate skills.

"He will need to work on the debate scene," Flournoy said. "He's probably not as good of a debater as Ted Cruz and perhaps some others, but he does know his stuff."

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