Gov. Perry ventures back into Texas public eye

By WILL WEISSERT
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Rick Perry is breaking his silence.

The Texas governor is speaking Monday at a Williamson County Republican Party dinner north of Austin.

It will be Perry's first public appearance since he abandoned his run for the GOP presidential nomination Jan. 19.

Perry entered the race strong in August, but debate flubs and public gaffes saw his popularity sink.

He has kept a low profile since returning home and a recent poll commissioned by leading state newspapers showed his standing plummeting even among Texans.

Nearly half of respondents said Perry's presidential campaign hurt the state's image, and a majority said they don't want him running for a fourth full term as governor in 2014.

Perry's advisors aren't ruling out another gubernatorial run or a second try at the presidency in 2016.