Republican James Richard “Rick” Perry is the oldest contestant on Dancing with the Stars season 23. The 66-year-old Donald Trump supporter might have a hard time convincing viewers to vote for him, considering his long history of anti-gay statements, among other things. However, the 47th Governor of Texas is determined to use his time on the dance floor to help veterans. Before the politician crosses over to reality TV, here are four things you need to know about Rick Perry.
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Rick Perry is the longest-serving governor of Texas. He first assumed the office of governor on December 21, 2000, following the resignation of George W. Bush, who was preparing to become President of the United States. He was later elected in his own right to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010. He had never lost an election until he ran for the Republican nomination for the U.S. presidency in 2012. Perry made his second bid for presidency in the 2016 election but eventually dropped out of the race.
The Book Salesman
Before entering politics, Perry worked as a door-to-door book salesman for Southwestern Company in the early 1970s. He considers this as one of the most formative experiences of his life, stating, “There is nothing that tests your commitment to a goal like getting a few doors closed in your face.”
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Perry has written two books. On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts are Worth Fighting For, published in 2008, sheds light on the struggles the Boy Scouts are facing defending America’s values. The other one, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington, published in 2010, shares his views on the proper role of the federal government and the military.
Perry made his acting debut in 2005 in the movie Man of the House, which stars Tommy Lee Jones. He returned to the big screen in 2012, appearing in Deep in the Heart and Hating
Breitbart. He played himself in all three films.
Watch Rick Perry compete on Dancing with the Stars season 23 starting Monday, September 12 at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)