The Washington Post sent the following news alert at 4:13 p.m. EDT:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry will seek the GOP nomination for president, according to a spokesman. He is expected to officially announce his candidacy Saturday in South Carolina.As Reuters reports, Mr. Perry already has zoomed to number two among Republican voters.
Perry's long-awaited entry promises to reshape the crowded race for the Republican nomination, placing him instantly at or near the top and potentially pushing out several candidates who have failed to gain traction in poll ratings or fundraising.
The eventual Republican nominee will seek to deny Democratic President Barack Obama a second term in office in the November 2012 election. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is the early front-runner for the nomination but is seen as vulnerable.
In much the same way Michele Bachmann stole the spotlight at a Republican debate earlier this year by announcing her candidacy, Mr. Perry's decision steals the spotlight from Republicans who have gathered tonight in Iowa for another debate.
"I think Perry will shoot to the top of the polls right away, and be neck and neck with Romney," said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Texas.