Governor Rick Perry is a Republican politician and the longest-serving governor of Texas. In 1972, he graduated from Texas A&M University and was elected governor of Texas in 2000. During his governorship, Rick Perry has proven to be a strong supporter of the biotech industry in Texas. He is responsible for funding Texas-based research on stem cell technology as well as the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
In 2005, Governor Rick Perry created, through legislation, the Texas Emerging Technology fund, to promote research, development, and commercialization of emerging technologies in the Lone Star state. His politics of state funding and low corporate taxes have attracted biotech companies to Texas.
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Governor Rick Perry: political career
In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, where he served three two-year terms in office as a Democrat. It was only in 1989 that Rick Perry announced he was changing to the Republican party. Until he was elected lieutenant governor of Texas, in 1998, Rick Perry served as agriculture commissioner for the party.
When George W. Bush resigned Governor of Texas in 2000 to become president of the United States, Rick Perry assumed the governorship. Later, in 2002, 2006, and 2010, he was officially elected for full gubernatorial terms.
In the 2012 presidential election, Rick Perry ran for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency having Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as his direct competitors. Although he advertised his accomplishments in Texas, especially in the area of job creation, he wasn’t able to get enough votes to lead the national race and eventually withdrew.
After having a lower-back surgery in 2011 that included an experimental stem-cell treatment, Governor Rick Perry awarded $7.5 million to adult stem cell research. A $5 million grant went to the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and $2.5 million was appropriated to the Helotes-based America Stem Cell to develop new adult stem cell technology.
Governor Rick Perry has also stated that he intends to make Texas the first state to house a stem cell treatment facility, and the become the world’s leader in the research and use of adult stem cells, which he believes to have revolutionary potential on health treatments, quality of life, and a boost for the economy in the U.S. Perry is opposed to the study of embryonic stem cells for the treatment of disease.
In 2013, Governor Rick Perry officially signed a bill that will merge the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg with the University of Texas at Brownsville, creating a medical school for the area. The merger will create the second-largest university in the United States serving the Hispanic community.
Among the benefits of that combination, it’s estimated that the economic impact will generate billions for the state. Merging the schools and creation a new one will probably lead to 7,000-10,000 new jobs in the near future. New growth in the biotech industry in the Rio Grande Valley and Harlingen and all over the state of Texas is also expected.