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Timeline: Texas Gov. Rick Perry's career

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Rick Perry, the longest serving governor of Texas, has consistently won re-election due to his popularity among fiscal and social conservatives. Perry's announcement Saturday is expected to shake up the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

-- March 4, 1950: Born in Paint Creek, a small farming community north of Abilene.

-- 1972: Graduates from Texas A & M University and joins the U.S. Air Force.

-- 1982: Marries former classmate Anita Thigpen. They have two adult children.

-- 1984-1990: Elected as a Democrat, serves as a member of the Texas House of Representatives for the 64th District, which houses Denton County.

-- 1989: Switches to the Republican Party.

-- 1990-1998: Serves as Texas agriculture commissioner.

-- 1998-2000: Serves as lieutenant governor in administration of Gov. George W. Bush.

-- 2000: Becomes governor when Bush is elected president.

-- November 2002: Elected to first four-year term as governor.

-- November 2006: Re-elected governor.

-- August 2010: Denies he's interested in running for president in 2012. "I have no intention to go to Washington, D.C.," he says at a private fundraiser.

-- November 2010: Re-elected to unprecedented third term, becoming the longest-serving governor in state history.

-- August 6, 2011: Declares this day a "Day of Prayer and Fasting" for a "nation in crisis."

-- August 13, 2011: Will deliver a speech at a major conservative gathering in South Carolina. A Republican familiar with Perry's plans told CNN on Thursday that Perry will announce his candidacy at the speech.