wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Top fundraiser: Perry ‘poised to enter’ presidential race

at 02:54 PM ET, 08/01/2011

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is “poised to enter” the presidential race and is holding a high-level strategy session with a small group of top supporters this week, according to an e-mail sent by his 2010 gubernatorial campaign co-chairman.

In an e-mail invitation obtained by The Fix, former Perry campaign finance chairman Jim Lee invites an exclusive group to dine with the governor in Austin as he gets ever-closer to joining the presidential race. The dinner is set to be held either Tuesday or Wednesday and is limited to 15 people, according to the e-mail.

“Texas Gov. Perry is poised to enter the presidential race in the coming weeks and, if he does, will completely transform the Republican primary,” Lee said, adding later: “Ours will be a condensed and unconventional strategy yet we have a clear path to the nomination.”

Another top Perry adviser, David Carney, said Lee’s words do not represent a shift towards making the campaign official.

“Our volunteers are exuberant and very supportive, but we’re no closer,” Carney said. “We’re still in the due diligence (phase).”

Perry has held a series of similar dinners as he weighs his campaign, but Lee’s words are some of the strongest indications from top Perry confidantes that he is serious about getting in the race.

Lee hints that the governor is close to a campaign, though he clarifies that Perry is not actually a candidate yet.

That said, everything in the e-mail points towards a campaign, including talk of what kind of strategy the campaign will have.

Carney told The Fix that the dinners will continue but declined to say who would be in attendance.

“We have been having dinners for a while and have more set of the next few weeks,” Carney said. “We’re looking for frank and open discussions.”

Perry is expected to make a final decision about running for president in the coming weeks. He is hosting a day of prayer and fasting this weekend, and is not participating in the Ames Straw Poll the following weekend in Iowa.

Read more on PostPolitics

Huntsman family were “nice guys in a nasty business”

Romney, Bachmann oppose debt deal

Debt deal os make or break moment for tea party

 
Read what others are saying