Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the longest continuously serving governor in the United States and a failed candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, said on Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2014.
Perry, 63, took office in December 2000 after George W. Bush was declared president by the U.S. Supreme Court. He was elected to a full term in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010.
"The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," Perry said at a press conference in San Antonio on Monday.
"I make this announcement with a deep sense of humility and appreciation for the time and the trust the people of this state have given me."
He called being the governor of Texas the "best job in modern politics."
Perry is already by far the longest serving governor in Texas history, and a recent poll by the Democratic-leaning PPP polling group indicated that 60 percent of Texans don't want him to run again. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has been a state chief executive longer than Perry but not continuously.
Perry also is embroiled in a battle over abortion restrictions that made State Senator Wendy Davis a national figure and a likely Democratic candidate for governor in 2014.
The most likely candidate to succeed Perry is Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a fellow Republican. Democrats have not won a statewide office in Texas since 1994.