by BRAD ROLLINS
Gov. Rick Perry gave a blessing, however briefly, to former Mayor Susan Narvaiz’s campaign for U.S. Congress today while visiting San Marcos to tout the statewide sales tax holiday.
Narvaiz is running against U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett for the newly drawn Congressional District 35, which includes part of east Austin and part of southeast San Antonio connected by a narrow strip running along Interstate 35. That strip includes eastern Hays and western Caldwell counties.
Asked if he was making an endorsement in the race as he left his press conference this afternoon, Perry said he was.
“Yes. I support Susan,” the governor said without elaborating as he was whisked away behind a shelf of school childrens’ backpacks.
Earlier in his remarks, Perry gave Narvaiz a shoutout along with State Rep. Jason Isaac, a Dripping Springs Republican, and San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero, who holds a nonpartisan office.
“I accept positive feedback from anyone who has worked with me. You want people to be willing to say, ‘Yes, she does what she says she’s going to do. She works hard. She makes a difference.’ You want people to say that. In this case, it just happens to be the governor,” Narvaiz said.
Last year, Perry appointed Narvaiz to a taskforce charged with making recommendations for reigning in “unfunded mandates” from the state government to local governments. The panel also included Houston Mayor Annise Parker and former El Paso Mayor John Cook.
Perry and Doggett have been bitter enemies for years. During the governor’s presidential race, Doggett was one of his chief home state critics. Most recently, the congressman — whose current District 25 includes all of Hays County — compared Perry unfavorably to presumed GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
“Bright and articulate, Paul Ryan represents a younger version of Rick Perry policies without the rough edges and ‘oops’ moments. I like him; I just don’t like his policies,” Doggett said.