Rick Perry is a well-known figure in the politics of the Lone Star State and the entire nation. The Republican served as governor of Texas for 15 years, mounted two presidential campaigns in 2012 and 2016, and served as former President Donald Trump's Secretary of Energy from 2017 to 2019.
But, perhaps for the first time, he's not the Rick Perry currently making headlines in Texas.
According to a report from the Texas Tribune, Ricky Lynn Perry of Springtown, Texas has filed to run in the state's gubernatorial primary. The name he listed that's going to appear on the ballot when Texans go to the polls in March? Rick Perry.
This is far from ideal for incumbent Republican Greg Abbott, given that Texas conservatives who see "Rick Perry" on the ballot may very well assume the candidate is Abbott's predecessor and the longest serving governor in Texas history, rather than the Lockheed Martin staffing agent who actually filed.
According to the Tribune:
"The candidate Perry's form was notarized by Tony McDonald, an Austin lawyer who is active in anti-establishment conservative circles and has supported one of Abbott's primary opponents, Don Huffines. McDonald told the Tribune that Perry is a 'good conservative activist from Parker County' whom he knows through a 'friend of a friend.' McDonald said he was supporting Perry and serving as his campaign treasurer."
Like many Republican governors across the nation, Abbott has embraced the policies of former President Donald Trump in an effort to ingratiate himself with conservative voters. He's put a blanket ban on private businesses verifying COVID vaccination, despite the 800 thousand people who've died of the virus. He's been a key figure in signing off on legislation banning trans girls from participating in female sports and limiting access to the ballot box.
The latest complication in Abbott's reelection effort generated a wave of reactions online.
The jokes came pouring in.
But what's a laughingstock on Twitter is almost certain to be a headache for Abbott on the campaign trail.