Anti-gay Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday in San Antonio that he won’t seek re-election to a fourth full four-year term. Perry did not say whether he plans to run for president again in 2016.
Perry, a Republican who took over for George W. Bush in December 2000 after Bush was elected president, is the longest serving governor in Texas history. His current term expires at the end of 2014.
Perry championed Texas’ constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2005, holding a ceremonial signing at a Fort Worth church. He also made his opposition to LGBT rights a central focus of his 2012 campaign in the Republican presidential primary — a strategy which some say contributed to his demise.
“We have better protected the right to life for Texas children and families, protected the sanctity of marriage, and respected the traditional values that made Texas the greatest state in the greatest nation on earth,” Perry said in his announcement. “We Texans are not afraid to fight for what we believe in.”
Perry’s decision not to run opens the door for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, also a Republican, to succeed him in the governor’s office. Abbott also has an anti-gay record, having intervened to prevent two same-sex couples who legally married in other states from obtaining divorces in Texas. Abbott also issued a non-binding opinion earlier this year that domestic partner benefits offered by local government entities in Texas are illegal.
Watch Perry’s full announcement below.