Texas lawmakers: Leave a message behind

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth
State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth STAR-TELEGRAM

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, encouraged fellow House members to pay it forward last week.

Each desk on the House floor has a Bible in it, he told members.

And he asked colleagues to sign it and note their favorite verse, perhaps to serve as inspiration for the next person who sits there.

“I encourage you to do that before … Monday,” he said.

Monday is the last day of the 84th legislative session.

Perry rides

The optics of a Texas politician riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle so soon after the Waco biker shootings would not seem so great.

But former Gov. Rick Perry is unfazed, ready to take part in not one but two rides Saturday, just two days after he is expected to announce his presidential campaign in Addison.

Perry will ride a Harley in — where else? — Iowa, an early voting state. First it’s Ride With Rick, a fundraiser for the Puppy Jake Foundation, which trains service dogs for wounded veterans.

Then he will join Iowa GOP Sen. Joni Ernst, a Harley enthusiast, for her Roast and Ride, a 38-mile ride followed by speeches from some announced or likely candidates.

Besides Perry, the speakers include retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former business leader Carly Fiorina, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Perry will have some competition in the macho-biker department: Walker is an experienced rider.

McCaul’s tough talk

Texas GOP politicians are showing their mettle as they decide whom they like among the 15 or so people either running or thinking about running for president in 2016.

U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul of Austin, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, wouldn’t name a preference in a question-and-answer session with reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, though he did have a pretty strong point of view.

“It’s way too early,” he said. “What I’d like to see in our nominee is someone who can unite our party and not divide it. … I like more of a Reagan-type person.” Ronald Reagan was the widely liked 40th president.

And what McCaul really wants: “I’d like to see somebody who has some experience in what I consider the No. 1 issue of the day, and that’s our national security and foreign policy. I think that is going to be the issue that is going to be front and center against Hillary Clinton, who is going to basically tout her credentials as the foreign policy expert.”

Clinton was secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley