It appears Saturday will be the day of reckoning for Texas Gov. Rick Perry as he prepares to make clear his intention to join the Republican presidential race, two associates said Monday.
According to the two sources, Perry will make an appearance at a RedState conference in Charleston, S.C., the same day several of his potential opponents are taking part in the Iowa Straw Poll.
It's uncertain whether he will make a formal declaration, though he has been inching toward a candidacy announcement for weeks. Hours later, he is supposed to make his first trip to New Hampshire at a house party at the Portsmouth-area home of a state representative, Pamela Tucker, the Union Leader reported. His actions were first reported by Politico on Monday afternoon.
Perry is also expected to visit Iowa as soon as next week, a Republican official said.
Putting Things In Motion
For weeks, Perry has been calling party activists and Republican officials in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, trying to build support for his candidacy, The New York Times reported. He has also been working to build a fundraising operation.
Henry Barbour, a member of the Republican National Committee from Mississippi, has been among the party leaders visiting Austin in recent works to urge Perry to run.
"Governor Perry is authentic, a truth-teller and a job-creating machine in Texas," said Barbour, whose uncle is Mississippi's Republican governor, Haley Barbour. "And it sure helps to come from a big donor state like Texas, if you are going to run for president. He will be able to raise the money to compete with Romney."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the presumed front runner.