Even as he announced he wasn't running for governor again, Rick Perry implored Texans not to rock the political boat too much in choosing a successor.
Channeling late University of Texas football coach Darrell Royal, Perry quipped Monday: "You gotta dance with the one that brung ya."
Perry stopped short of endorsing his Republican heir apparent, state Attorney General Greg Abbott. Still, there was little debate in GOP circles that's who he was talking about.
The 55-year-old is popular with grassroots tea party activists and mainstream conservatives. He's already raised $18 million in campaign funds.
Texas Senate filibuster star Wendy Davis is among the Democrats considering a run. But a Democrat hasn't won a statewide office in the state since 1994.