AUSTIN — That means Perry's decision breaks a logjam of top conservatives waiting to move up as he held the top spot so long.
At least six out of nine elected executive offices will change hands as Texans replace the governor, attorney general, comptroller and commissioners for land, agriculture and railroads. They'll also get a chance to choose another lieutenant governor, with three men running to replace David Dewhurst, who plans to seek re-election.
Meanwhile, Perry left the door open for another White House run after his 2011 presidential bid flamed out. The governor is perhaps best remembered nationally for infamously forgetting during a debate the third of three federal departments he had promised to shutter if elected and muttering sheepishly, "Oops."
He used his Monday address to promote his accomplishments as governor, including overseeing a booming state economy that created nearly a third of the country's new jobs on his watch. He also promised not to let his focus slip in his term's remaining months.
"I will actively lead this great state," Perry said, "And I'll also pray and work to determine my own future."