Gov. Rick Perry to announce president bid; Gov. Haley talks at conference

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Governor Rick Perry is expected to announce his 2012 presidential run at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston Saturday afternoon.

Gov. Nikki Haley stopped by earlier in the day and spoke at the RedState conference. Gov. Perry is expected to announce his run later this afternoon. Political experts say that could be very significant for a candidate.

Citadel political science professor Scott Buchanan says it's a good political move to announce a presidential run here in South Carolina as opposed to his home state.

"He's putting a lot of effort on South Carolina because it will be the first southern primary. If Perry's going to win the nomination, he's really got to win South Carolina," Buchanan said. "It is a little bit unusual he would do so outside of his home state, but at the same time he is very popular in Texas and the thought he would not win Texas is incomprehensible."

Gov. Perry is expected to make the announcement at the Francis Marion Hotel Saturday at 1pm, during the "RedState Gathering." The grassroots group of DC bloggers that has influenced republican wins nationwide.

South Carolina hosts the first in the south GOP presidential primary, usually January or February of the election year. Since it began in 1980, no republican candidate has won the presidency without first winning the Palmetto State.

"It's smart if you're Republican. It's smart to focus so much attention on this state," Buchanan said.

Gov. Perry is expected to be among one of the last candidates to enter the presidential race on the Republican ticket, but political analysts don't think it's too late for him to become one of the front runners.

In addition to Gov. Perry, some other big name republicans who will be at the RedState conference include Congressman Tim Scott, Senator Jim Demint, and Gov. Nikki Haley.

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