Des Moines, Iowa – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said he thinks it’s very likely that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will jump into the Republican presidential race and reshape the campaign for Iowa’s leadoff presidential caucuses.
“I get the definite impression he’s very likely to run,” Branstad told the Associated Press on Saturday, basing his opinion on a conversation the two Republican governors had Friday.
Branstad said Perry told him his family wants him to run. Branstad also said he expects Perry to visit Iowa in the next month or so.
Perry would alter the race in Iowa, were he to get in, Branstad said.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has shot to the top of state polls since entering the race last month, with early support from tea party supporters and evangelical conservatives. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney also rates well in Iowa.
Perry’s pro-business profile and strong ties to the social conservative movement could help him bridge the two wings of Iowa’s GOP base, Branstad said. And it doesn’t hurt that he is the former Texas agriculture commissioner.
“I think he becomes a significant factor if he becomes a candidate,” Branstad said. “It could change the whole complexion of the Iowa caucus race.”
Puppy dangerous; husband dead
Jackson, Miss. – Police in Mississippi say a woman opened fire on a puppy that had threatened children, but wound up shooting and killing her husband.
Witnesses told police that the pit bull named Cocaine had lunged at some children and tried to attack them on Friday. The dead man’s son said the children were taken inside and his father picked the dog up.
It was then, police said, that Betty Walker fired twice, hitting the dog once and her husband once in the chest. Jackson police spokeswoman Colendula Green said the death of 53-year-old Robert Walker appears to have been accidental.
She said a Hinds County grand jury will decide whether to charge Betty Walker.
Animal control officers have taken the dog, and its owner could face charges.