Gov. Rick Perry said Monday in San Antonio that he will not seek another term as Texas governor and plans to retire.
Perry made the announcement during a news conference in front of friends and supporters at Holt Cat on South W.W. White Road.
"I think Texas is in such great shape. He spent all these years accomplishing that so I think there's something to be said by moving on at the right time," said Secretary of State John Steen.
"It's disappointing because he's been such a great leader but I understand he's making way for new great leaders," added Barry Smitherman, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission who is running for Attorney General in 2014.
Perry's departure from the Governor's Mansion sets up an opening for fellow Republican and longtime Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott in next year's GOP primary.
The 63-year-old Perry ran for president in 2011. He's best known in that campaign for uttering "Oops" during a debate after forgetting the third of three federal agencies he wanted to eliminate if elected.
Before that, Perry stirred controversy by suggesting Texas could secede from the U.S., and for shooting a coyote with a concealed handgun while jogging.
Still, he's considered the most powerful Texas governor since the Civil War because he served long enough to fill every state agency with his loyalists.
"I think it's a good thing," said Staria Black, a Democrat. "I think it's time for us to get fresh perspective on things."
State Rep. Mike Villarreal, a democrat from San Antonio, had the following to say about Perry's announcement:
"I want to thank Governor Perry and his wife Anita for their service to Texas. I usually disagree with the Governor several times per day, but I appreciate his love of Texas and wish him the best of luck. Unfortunately, his legacy will be one of cutting education funding, pushing more testing into our classrooms, and promoting issues that divide Texans rather than bringing us together."