A group of Rick Perry's supporters and former advisers launched a super PAC on Thursday to promote the former Texas governor's likely campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
As a super PAC, the Opportunity and Freedom PAC would work independently from Perry's official campaign, and can legally collect unlimited donations to fund its efforts. Already it is beginning to raise money online, with a button for supporters to donate, although Perry has yet to launch his campaign.
Two of Perry's former chiefs of staff in the governor's office, Ray Sullivan and Mike Toomey, will serve as the super PAC's co-chairmen. Political strategists Austin Barbour and Tony Russo have signed on as senior advisers to the super PAC. In a mission statement, the group says it will "educate voters on Perry's record as Governor of Texas and promote his vision for the future of America."
Barbour -- whose brother, Henry, is a Republican National Committeeman from Mississippi, and whose uncle, Haley, is a former governor of Mississippi and RNC chairman -- said in a statement that the super PAC would "aggressively" support Perry, should he move forward as expected with a presidential run.
The super PAC's leaders are touting Perry's economic record in Texas as well as his military credentials as reasons he would stand out from a crowded Republican field of contenders.
"As an Air Force veteran and leader of the 'Great American jobs machine,' Rick Perry is the perfect contrast to the failed liberal policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton," Barbour said.
In his statement, Sullivan also highlighted the more than two million new jobs in Texas during Perry's tenure as governor. "Governor Perry's economic record is without equal," he said.
Toomey, meanwhile, highlighted other areas of leadership for Perry during 14 years in office.
"As governor, Rick Perry dealt with hurricanes, wildfires, a space shuttle explosion, and the federal government's failure to secure our border," Toomey said in a statement. "In all these circumstances displayed an ability to take decisive action. He always leads from the front."