Image: Rick Perry
Eric Gay  /  AP
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks in Austin, Texas, July 18, 2011. Perry's aides have been laying the groundwork, in early voting states, for a White House bid.
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updated 7/27/2011 4:18:31 PM ET 2011-07-27T20:18:31

Still searching for a 2012 candidate, Republican activists from New Hampshire plan to visit Texas next week to encourage Gov. Rick Perry to run for president.

The New Hampshire delegation, to be led by former Republican National committeeman Sean Mahoney and former state GOP executive director Paul Young, also intends to stress the importance of the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Video: Questions surround Perry’s next move (on this page)

"Most of the folks who will be going down have seen what Gov. Perry stands for and his strong conservative track record," Mahoney said Wednesday. "And I think there's a large bloc of New Hampshire Republicans who feel like his stance on the issues are exactly what the country needs right now."

Perry's aides have been laying the groundwork for a White House bid and Perry has been talking influential Republicans in early voting states. He is expected to jump in when he announces a decision in the coming weeks.

Video: Sen. Hutchison: I’ll support Perry if he’s nominated (on this page)

Recent public polling puts him near the top of the field, now led by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Perry has yet to travel to New Hampshire this year, but he telephoned prominent Republican officials in New Hampshire and Iowa this month to gauge their interest in his candidacy. His top political strategist, Dave Carney, is based in New Hampshire.

Perry also is scheduled to headline a dinner fundraiser for a leading New Hampshire conservative organization in October.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Questions surround Perry’s next move

  1. Closed captioning of: Questions surround Perry’s next move

    >>> so will he or won't he? texas governor rick perry is making all the moves toward becoming a candidate for president. he was recently briefed by national security officials. he's been meeting with a steady stream of potential contributors. john thon martin is politico senior writer. what do you think is going to happen and when? i guess the question is now when? before ames , after ames ?

    >> it does seem increasingly a matter of when not if. as we learn with haley barbour you never know what's actually going to happen. it does seem now like some time not just after ames , but also after this day of prayer that he's having in houston next month you'll see governor perry move to get into the race. they're in no rush. they're taking their time to a make sure that the money is there for them to launch a serious campaign. secondly, the grassroots support is there. that's why you see them in these recent weeks having the governor call activists in iowa and new hampshire and have donors come down to austin and meet with him to get to know each or. that's their way of feeling out if lst the grassroots and financial support there for a campaign.

    >> it's not clear sailing, i guess not for anyone mike huckabee taking a shot at rick perry saying texas governor reck perry is still flirting with a run for all his new fund commitment to hyper conservatism, he'll get to discuss why he supported proabortion, prosame sex marriage rudy giuliani last time.

    >> ouch.

    >> welcome to the nfl. that just shows a peak from huckabee and did not appreciate that the texas governor endorsed rudy juligiuliani.

    >> there's some history there. governor perry supported giuliani. governor huckabee has a long memory. governor perry is going to face some serious challenges if he does decide to run. he's got a jobs message in texas. he's got a pretty pure conservative record on a lot of issues that i think will appeal to both pragmatic minded and more true believers in the republican party . that said, in a general election scenario he's going to have to answer the question of how he can play in swing states , the pennsylvanias, the ohios, the wisconsins, the michigans. that's going to be a taller order for him. how to make the case for why he's going to be a strong general election candidate. i do think if he does good in this primary, you'll see that message used against him by his gop rivals of yes, governor perry can win a primary, but how can you play in the fall.

    >> do you get this from some republican king makers that it's anyone by michele bachmann in iowa candidate to go up against mitt romney ?

    >> they're definitely looking for a bachmann alternative. you see the first sort of signs of a stop bachmann movement stirring in the republican ranks. i think what perry gets you if you are conservative is somebody that is right on the conservatism. it's tough to get to his right. but he's a governor. he's been a governor for ten years. so he can make the argument about lek tiblity as well in a way that i think she has a tougher time making. that is at the core of his appeal for republican activists.

    >> the longest serving governor, in fact.

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