Tyler (KYTX) -- "The time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership," Governor Rick Perry told a crowd at a San Antonio heavy equipment dealership Monday afternoon.
The longest-serving governor in Texas history says he won't run for office again in 2014.
"I will truly miss serving in this capacity, because it is the greatest job in modern politics. We have created the strongest economy in the nation," Perry said.
Former state representative Leo Berman has had a friendship with Perry 14 years. Without term limits, he didn't see a need to pass the torch.
"People will tell us if they don't like us, they're going to vote us out of office. He's a strong pro-life governor, he's pro-gun," Berman said.
The announcement may open up many statewide positions, with Attorney General Greg Abbott eyeing the governor's office.
"I would say at this point Abbott is probably the most likely choice. I know he is loved and respected among every branch of the Republican party and conservatives," John de Noyelles, former chairman of the Smith County Republican Party, said.
Although Perry left another White House run up in the air, there were clues it's not out of the question.
"We Texans are not afraid of a good fight," he vowed.
Click here to watch live stream of Gov. Rick Perry's announcement.
UPDATE: (CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn't ready to reveal his political future, but he's not ruling out another bid for the White House in 2016.
Perry will announce what's ahead in his political career at an event on Monday in San Antonio.
Asked on "Fox News Sunday" about the possibility of his candidacy in 2016, Perry said, "Certainly that's an option out there, but again, we've got a lot of work to do in this building right behind me over the course of the next couple weeks that have my focus substantially, more than even 2014 or 2016."
Perry is expected to decide whether to run next year for re-election to a fourth full term as governor, or to make another bid for the White House in 2016. If Perry runs for another term as governor he could be up against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, also a Republican.
The former presidential candidate originally planned to announce his plans by the end of June, but delayed his decision after he called the state legislature into a special session to try once again to pass a controversial bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill was sidetracked by a filibuster last month by Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis that grabbed national headlines.
Of next week's continued fight over the restrictive abortion bill, Perry expressed confidence the bill would pass despite scheduled protests on Monday.
"Texans want to protect life and that's the bottom line here," Perry said. "Calling another special session, we can be in and out of here in 10 days, get our work done.
"They are going to have hearings tomorrow. I full well expect the legislature to manage this in an appropriate way, get it done way before the 30-day period of the legislation runs out on the special session."
The Texas legislature will meet Monday to resume the special session to discuss the abortion measure. A state Senate committee will hold a hearing on the abortion measure and the full Senate convenes the next day. In the state House, Republicans have already passed the bill through committee. It heads to the full chamber Tuesday.
(CNN) - Governor Rick Perry will announce what's ahead in his political career today in San Antonio.
The Governor is not ready to reveal details, but says he's not ruling out another run for the White House in 2016. Perry is expected to announce whether he'll seek re-election to a fourth full term as Governor or another bid for the GOP Presidential nomination.
The former presidential candidate initially planned to announce his plans by the end of June, but delayed his decision to try once again to pass a controversial bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill was derailed by a filibuster last month by a democratic state senator.