Topeka Gov. Sam Brownback, who has said he wants to make Kansas more like Texas, now wants to make the whole United States more like Texas.
On Thursday, Brownback endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president.
“Rick Perry is the right leader for this moment in history,” Brownback said of his fellow Republican.
“Now more than ever, America needs a president who knows how to create jobs and stop Washington’s runaway spending,” he said.
Brownback, a friend of Perry’s, made headlines over the summer as the only governor to appear in person with Perry at a stadium prayer event in Houston that was put on by several groups that are highly critical of homosexuality and abortion rights.
On Thursday, he praised Perry’s record as governor in Texas, saying he cut taxes and helped Texas become a leader in job creation.
“On the most important issues of our time, his record of leadership serves as a blueprint for America’s renewal,” Brownback said.
Perry returned the praise, calling Brownback, a former senator and U.S. House member, “one of the most respected voices for conservatism in the country.”
Brownback has often used Texas as an example when touting his proposals to lower taxes and reduce regulations in Kansas.
Brownback was set to travel to Florida later Thursday as Perry’s guest at a Republican presidential candidate debate. Brownback’s office said that no state of Kansas funds are being expended for the trip.
Asked if he had any aspirations in a potential Perry administration, Brownback, who took office as governor in January, said, “No, thank you. I’m very happy with what I’m doing right now and fully occupied.”
In 2007, Brownback, then a U.S. senator, ran for the Republican Party nomination for president, but his campaign failed to gain any traction. Shortly afterward, he endorsed the eventual GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain.
During that campaign, Brownback was critical of Mitt Romney, who is seeking the nomination again and is seen as the chief rival to Perry.
Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University, said Brownback’s endorsement is a “natural fit” and will be of political value to Perry.
“The timing is very logical because what we could have in this Republican nomination is a mirror of the Democratic side in 2008 (between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton).
“We might be seeing a more drawn-out contest between Perry and Romney; both are well-funded and both have strengths in certain areas. That means the March 10 Kansas Republican caucus plays a role,” he said.