POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Has never run for president. He is the 47th and current Governor of Texas. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when then-governor George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States.
EDUCATION: He graduated in August 1972 with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science.
FAMILY: Anita Thigpen Perry (wife); Children: Griffin and Sydney
PROS AND CONS according to ABC News' Amy Bingham, Maya Srikrishnan, Jared Pliner, Jennifer Schlesinger and Josh Goldstein
- PROS: Compelling economic story to tell about Texas and job growth. Tea Party appeal and credentials. Strong donor base. Executive experience as longest continuously serving U.S. governor. Proven campaigner who has repeatedly defied the political odds.
CONS: "My way of the highway" style may turn off independent voters, who are desperate for Washington to stop fighting and start compromising. Jobs record isn't without some blemishes, including tax credits and subsidies for employers who ultimately created few jobs. Has spent more than 25 years giving his opponents a treasure trove of material to mine for controversy.