Hours before a straw vote test in Iowa, Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to make it clear whether or not he will run for the presidential election.
Perry will probably use his speech at the 2011 Red State Gathering in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday to signal his intentions of joining the Republican Presidential nomination race, Politico reported.
Two Republicans familiar with the governor's plans said that Perry would stop short of making a presidential announcement on Saturday, but would drop a strong hint in remarks to the conference in Charleston, Reuters reported.
Mark Miner, Perry's spokesperson, did not deny the reports, but said in a statement that while the governor "is not a candidate for office at this time," he continues to consider a potential run for The White House. Stay tuned."
"With President Obama's dismal economic record, and Texas' success in creating jobs and balancing our budget, Governor Perry continues to consider a potential run for The White House," Mark Miner said.
Perry's speech will come just hours before a straw poll test in Ames, Iowa, to determine the strength of Republican candidates in the state. Iowa will hold its caucuses in February. Perry is not on the straw poll ballot, because he was not an announced candidate when the contest was organized.
Perry's speech at Charleston, hinting at his White House plans, are expected to make headlines and according to Politico, his speech will "send shock waves through the race and upend whatever results come out of the straw poll."
A Republican familiar with Perry's plans said that his South Carolina appearance would make a splash and compete with the Iowa news that day.
Perry's entry into the race will add another contender to Republican nomination race. At the moment, Mitt Romney continues to lead the GOP contender race with 21 percent Republican voters wanting him to win the nomination, according to a poll by Pew Research Centre for the People & the Press, which was conducted from July 20-24.
However, Perry is also grabbing the attention of the Republicans, and is seen as a conservative alternative to Romney. Perry could pose a serious threat to Romney.
Perry is the longest surviving governor in Texas history. He brought about job growth in Texas, which has surpassed those of other states in recent years.
"American for Perry", an unaffiliated group with the governor, has started a write-in campaign on his behalf in the hopes of luring him into the race.
If Perry ultimately decides to run, he will be the only sitting governor in the field.
After his speech at Charleston, Perry will travel to New Hampshire for a house party at the home of Pamela Tucker, deputy speaker of the New Hampshire House.
New Hampshire will hold the country's first primary contest early next year.