Originally Posted by Lord Xar
In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat from a district (64) that included his home county of Haskell. He served on the House Appropriations and Calendars committees during his three two-year terms in office. He befriended fellow freshman state representative Lena Guerrero of Austin, a staunch liberal Democrat who endorsed Perry's reelection bid in 2006 on personal, rather than philosophical, grounds. Perry was part of the "Pit Bulls", a group of Appropriations members who sat on the lower dais in the committee room (or "pit") who pushed for austere state budgets during the 1980s.
Perry supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries and was chairman of the Gore campaign in Texas.
In 1989, The Dallas Morning News named him one of the most effective legislators in the 71st Legislature. That same year, Perry announced that he was joining the Republican Party.