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Perry's campaign exit no surprise to local observers

By JR Ortega
Jan. 19, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Updated Jan. 19, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

Rick Perry pauses while announcing he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich on Thursday in North Charleston, S.C.

Judy Bujnoch had not heard the news Thursday morning about Gov. Rick Perry dropping out of the Republican presidential race, but the news didn't surprise her.

The 62-year-old Flatonia woman leans Republican and still expected the Texas governor to drop out. For her the real question was when.

"I was pleased when he first announced that he was going to run, but the more I watched his campaign, the more I realized he wasn't ready for it," Bujnoch said.

People across the United States woke Thursday to Perry's early morning announcement.

Kelli Gill, the Democratic chairwoman for Victoria County, also expected Perry to leave the race.

"I think that considering his polling, he really didn't have any other option but to step down," Gill said, adding she was not surprised that he endorsed Newt Gingrich.

When Perry first announced he was joining the presidential campaign, Gill was a bit apprehensive because of his high ratings in Texas.

However, once she saw several of his debates, she realized he would most likely not make the cut.

"It was kind of embarrassing," she said about how Perry's campaigning has made Texas appear.

For now, she predicts Mitt Romney will ultimately receive the Republican nomination, but she still sides with President Barack Obama because of how pragmatic he is.

Michael Cloud, the chairman of the Victoria County Republican Party, would not say who he believes may get the nomination, but he did say he enjoyed Perry's discussion.

"I really appreciated what he brought to the conversation ... the importance of jobs in our country and in state's rights," he said.

Cloud did agree that Perry had several campaign blunders, but he is still excited about the candidates remaining in the race.

"We have a lot of great things going for us here in Texas," Cloud said.

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