With Perry out, Graves taking “fresh look” at GOP field

Rep. Sam Graves followed Perry on the campaign trail in Iowa earlier this year. (AP Photo via DayLife)

— U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Kansas City, was an early supporter of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s presidential bid. So on Thursday, when Perry announced he would drop his campaign and go home to Texas, Graves was left without a candidate.

In a statement to PoliticMo, Graves, chairman of the House Small Business Committee, said he plans to reevaluate the other candidates.

“There are still many good choices for our party’s nominee to beat Barack Obama and I look forward to taking a fresh look at our candidates,” Graves said.

Graves again lauded Perry a “strong, principled conservative,” and expressed confidence that Perry will “continue to be a champion of limited government and economic freedom for the people of Texas.”

Graves was one of only a handful of Missouri Republican leaders to endorse a presidential candidate. Most, like Sen. Roy Blunt and former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, endorsed and promoted former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But Graves stuck with Perry, even campaigning with him in Iowa.

Perry’s announcement comes just days before the South Carolina Republican presidential selection primary. Along with his campaign announcement, Perry said that he has endorsed former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign.

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