Far from the presidential campaign trail he departed months ago, former Gov. Rick Perry is wading into another Texas Republican primary race.
The longest-serving governor in Texas history is endorsing Bedford pastor Scott Fisher in his bid to unseat firebrand state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, Fisher’s campaign announced Tuesday.
“Scott Fisher knows how to take strong conservative values and turn them into successful conservative policies,” Perry said in a statement circulated by Fisher’s campaign. “Scott is a conservative that can get things done.”
The statement also praised Fisher’s work at the Texas Ethics Commission and Texas Youth Commission — Perry had appointed him to positions on both panels.
Stickland, a polarizing figure in the Texas House, responded by calling Perry an “Austin insider,” who he is not trying to represent.
“I’ve served my district for nearly 4 years now and have never tried to represent Austin insiders, only the conservatives in my District,” he said in a written statement to the Tribune. “I’m proud to have their support in my re-election campaign.”
Stickland was first elected in 2012 to represent House District 92.
It is the fourth time Perry has weighed in on a Texas race since August. His other endorsements include: state Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, who is seeking to replace outgoing state Sen. Kevin Eltife; Austin ophthalmologist Dawn Buckingham, who is looking to succeed retiring state Sen. Troy Fraser; and Bill Waybourn, who is campaigning to unseat Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson.
In September, a spokeswoman for Perry said he had no overarching strategy for endorsements.
“We’re focused on our primary and make those decisions on a case-by-case basis at the appropriate time,” Lucy Nashed, his spokesman at the time, told the Tribune.
Patrick Svitek contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/12/29/perry-endorses-fishers-bid-unseat-stickland/.