Who's in charge when Perry leaves the state? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Who's in charge when Perry leaves the state?

By Lauren Callahan

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - As Governor Perry continues to campaign for the GOP nomination for president, his absence from the state strips him from his duties as governor.

So any time he leaves the state, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst takes over as governor.

But with Dewhurst running full time for the GOP nomination for the US senate, who's running the state?

Governor Perry has spent a lot of time outside Texas since he announced in July that he is running. When that happens, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, is the acting Governor of the State of Texas. And he's running for the United States Senate, but he's in Texas.

Even though he's spending his time campaigning, Dewhurst is still in charge each time Governor Perry leaves the state.  

"Both have a chief of staff and a full complement of staff that handles every part of state business. We have marvelous technology," says State Representative Leo Berman.

But Smith County Democratic Party Chair David Henderson says Perry's leaving the state's business to his staff isn't what he promised last fall.

"He should have told the people of Texas when he ran against Kay Bailey Hutchison and beat her and Medina that, and when he ran against Bill White, that he was not going to serve out his full responsibilities as governor," expressed Henderson.

The Texas constitution doesn't require an officeholder running for higher office to resign, but Smith County Republican Party Chair Ashton Oravetz thinks Governor Perry should resign if he gets the GOP nomination.

"He's going to be 100%, seven days a week, 24 hours a day running for president. It's more intense even than what he's going through right now," says Oravetz.

And State Representative Leo Berman agrees that the legislature should take this up, "I think we should talk about this and indicate just like at lower levels that if you're going to run for a different office and you actually file for a different office... perhaps you should resign."

The latest poll has Governor Perry leading the GOP pack.

Mitt Romney is slowly closing the gap, but Perry has a double digit lead on all the other candidates.

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