Footing Bill for Perry’s White House Run
State security agents who protected Gov. Rick Perry as he crisscrossed the country running for president have filed for an additional $104,000 in backlogged travel expenses, according to state records released Friday. That raises the total cost of his failed White House bid to Texas taxpayers to at least $3.7 million.
The Texas Department of Public Safety reported spending about $104,000 on airfare, food, fuel, lodging and other travel expenses as it provided security for the governor between September and January. Those expenses were not yet processed when the agency released quarterly records in March that detailed $1.8 million in travel expenses as its agents protected Perry and his family on the campaign trail.
The agency also paid out at least $1.8 million in overtime compensation to its agents while Perry was a presidential candidate, according to reports previously obtained by The Associated Press using open records requests. The latest round of additional travel expenses pushes the total security expenditures to more than $3.7 million, but additional bills — such as holdover travel expenses or overtime filings that could appear in the department's future reports — could raise the cost to taxpayers even more.
Extra security costs absorbed by the state during presidential runs are nothing new in Texas. When Perry's predecessor, George W. Bush, ran for president in 2000, his security detail cost the state nearly $4 million in 1999 and part of 2000, before the Secret Service took over.
Not included in either the security travel expenses or overtime tabs are the 126 days Perry spent outside Texas while running for president, which forced the state to pay the lieutenant governor or Senate pro tem $32,466 to fill in as acting governor.