(NEWSER) – As Rick Perry was waxing poetic over his political future yesterday, he refused to rule out a 2016 run for the White House, calling it "certainly ... an option out there." Today, Texas' longest-serving governor said he "will not seek re-election" in 2014, reports the AP, during a gathering of friends and supporters he called to discuss "exciting future plans."
"The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," he said, as per CNN; his move opens the door for longtime Texas AG Gregg Abbott. And it does nothing to quell speculation about a run in 2016, notes Politico. "I will spend the next 18 months working to create more jobs, opportunity, and innovation," said Perry. "I will actively lead this great state. I’ll also pray and reflect and work to determine my own future path." The AP has a timeline of Perry's career here.