WASHINGTON Aug 8 Rick Perry will signal plans
to seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination at an event
in South Carolina on Saturday, Republicans familiar with the
plans said on Monday.
The Texas governor's appearance at a conservative
conference coincides with a straw poll of Republican candidates
in Iowa and his remarks could steal some of the thunder from
his rivals competing in that event.
Two Republicans familiar with his plan said Perry would
stop short of making a presidential announcement on Saturday
but would drop a strong hint in remarks to a conservative
conference sponsored by RedState.com in Charleston.
Afterward, he is expected to travel to New Hampshire, which
holds the country's first primary contest early next year.
The straw poll in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday is a test of
strength among Republicans candidates in Iowa, whose caucuses
in February will be the first election contest of the 2012.
Perry is not on the straw poll ballot because he was not an
announced candidate when the contest was organized. Tea Party
conservative candidate Michelle Bachmann is leading polls in
A Republican familiar with Perry's plans said his South
Carolina appearance would make a splash and compete with the
Iowa news that day.
Planning is under way within the Perry campaign for an
announcement tour with a formal announcement coming soon, the
Perry's entry into the race will add one more contender to
a crowded field. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is
the front-runner and Perry would likely be seen as a
conservative alternative to Romney.
Perry staged a day of prayer in Houston on Saturday, urging
thousands to pray for Democratic President Barack Obama.
He is the longest-serving governor in Texas history.
At a time of economic turmoil across the country, Perry
need only point to his home state. The Texas jobless rate was
7.7 percent in April, a sizable improvement over the national
rate of 9.1 percent.
(Editing by Philip Barbara)