Rick Perry (2017-2019)
James Richard “Rick” Perry was born on March 4, 1950, in Haskell, Texas. His father was a cotton farmer, and Rick was raised in Paint Creek, Texas. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Texas A&M University in 1972. After graduation, Perry enlisted in the United States Air Force and served until 1977. He then worked with his father, farming cotton and cattle.
In 1984, he was elected as to the Texas House of Representatives from the 64th District as a Democrat. Perry switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party in 1989. From 1991 to 1999, Perry served as the Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture. On January 19, 1999, Perry became the Lieutenant Governor of Texas.
When George W. Bush resigned as governor of Texas in 2000 to focus on his presidential campaign, Perry assumed the position. He was reelected as governor in 2002, 2006, and 2010 and was the longest serving governor in Texas history. Perry ran for the Republican nomination for US president in 2012 and 2016.
In December 2016, President-elect Donald Trump nominated Perry to be Secretary of Energy. The US Senate confirmed him on March 2, 2017, by a vote of 62 to 37. As secretary, Perry focused on fossil fuels as a major energy source for the United States. He also became caught up in Trump’s impeachment investigation because he was involved in managing and maintaining the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. Perry resigned as the United States Secretary of Energy on December 1, 2019.