Rick Perry served as Governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, making him the longest-serving governor in that state's history.
A fifth-generation Texan, Perry attended Texas A &M University and served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, piloting missions from 1974-1977 and attaining the rank of Captain. After his service, Perry went into business with his father, a cotton farmer.
Perry was first elected as a Democrat to the Texas House of Representatives in 1984. After working on Al Gore's first presidential campaign, he switched parties, and in 1990, won the office of Texas Agricultural Commissioner after a controversial campaign managed by Karl Rove. In 1998, he ran for Lieutenant Governor and won.
In 2012, Perry ran in the Republican Presidential Primary. After placing fifth in the Iowa caucuses, he skipped the New Hampshire Primary and pulled out of the race in January, 2012.