Editorials

Perry has time to focus on indictment

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry withdrew from the Republican presidential nominating contest during a speech Friday in St. Louis.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry withdrew from the Republican presidential nominating contest during a speech Friday in St. Louis. AP

Saying he had “no regrets” about his second run for the Republican presidential nomination, former Gov. Rick Perry nevertheless suspended that run on Friday, the first of the major GOP contenders to drop from the field.

Whatever you think of Perry politically — and his spectacular flame-out in the 2012 presidential race made him a national target for political jokes — you should admire his tenacity. He worked hard to reshape both his image and his mastery of issues during the past four years.

Texas’ longest-serving governor (14 years) stayed true to form in announcing his withdrawal, speaking out emphatically about his party.

Taking aim at frontrunner Donald Trump, Perry said candidates “must make the case for the cause of conservatism more than the cause of their own celebrity.”

It’s unlikely that Perry, 65, will be leaving the public arena, although he said he looks forward to time at his house in the country and its “absolute best sunset you have ever seen.”

What he should do now is focus on clearing his name from a year-old indictment for abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony.

It’s never good for Texas to have one if its top officials or former officials facing felony charges.

Now the state has two, Perry and Attorney General Ken Paxton (two counts of first-degree securities fraud and a related third-degree felony charge).

Both say they’re victims of political persecution. Both should get busy proving their innocence.

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