Perry giving final Texas GOP speech as governor

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Rick Perry is kicking off his unofficial farewell tour to Texas politics with a high-profile speech to start the state Republican convention in Fort Worth.

The longest-serving governor in Texas history isn’t seeking re-election in November but appears poised to make a second presidential run in 2016. That comes as tea party gains may have moved Texas conservatism too far to the right even for him.

At the 2012 convention, delegates booed Perry for praising Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who was then seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination against conservative grassroots champion Ted Cruz.

Also speaking Thursday is George P. Bush, a rising GOP star who could lead the party on Hispanic outreach.

Bush’s famous political surname makes him an establishment powerhouse but may hurt him with grassroots activists.

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