The Texas governor’s power lies in the appointments he makes. They serve as a legacy of sorts after the governor leaves office. What’s more, the policies enacted by the appointees have this way of lasting even longer than that.
Thus, Gov. Rick Perry’s appointments to key boards and commissions over the course of his record-setting governorship figure to keep making their mark after the governor leaves office at the end of this year.
Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey’s analysis looks at the beginning of the end of the Perry Era in Austin.
It’s going to be an interesting transition to watch as Perry moves from activist governor to lame duck.
Ramsey notes a fascinating recent turn of events at the Texas A&M University. The A&M System Board of Regents, all of whom are Perry appointees, recently stuck it in the governor’s eye over the appointment of an interim president of the A&M campus at College Station. Perry lost out when Chancellor John Sharp persuaded the board to install his guy at the system’s main campus.
Is this the actual beginning of the end of Perry’s time as governor.
Perry became governor in December 2000 after George W. Bush was elected president of the United States. He’s been elected and re-elected three times since. He is the longest-serving governor in Texas history. Along the way he has amassed enormous influence through his appointments from the Texas Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals on down to every commission within state government.
Perry’s influence has been virtually unprecedented, Ramsey writes. “Nobody has had this much control over state government since Bob Bullock, the former comptroller and lieutenant governor, left office in 1999. Bullock’s influence seeped into every facet of state government as people who worked for him steadily moved into other agencies and offices,” according to Ramsey.
So, the long good bye for Rick Perry begins. The state will elect a new governor this November. The current one, though, will have plenty more to say as he starts packing up his belongings from the Governor’s Mansion.