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Rick Perry To Help Recruit Veterans For Ted Cruz

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry

* Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Former Gov. Rick Perry is joining a new group that plans to organize veterans in support of Ted Cruz's presidential campaign.

The group, a super PAC known as Keep the Promise to Veterans, will allow Perry to ramp up his involvement in Cruz's presidential effort after endorsing the U.S. senator from Texas last month. Perry, an Air Force veteran, has already recruited some supporters of his own to help with the super PAC: former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer and Taya Kyle, the widow of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.

"As you know, Governor Perry’s passionate about veterans issues and he wants to make sure that veterans issues do not get lost in the discourse and decided that getting involved this way would be an ideal way to keep veterans issues at the forefront," said Kathy Walt, the treasurer of the super PAC and a former chief of staff to Perry.

Keep the Promise to Veterans was officially formed Thursday, according to records with the Federal Election Commission. It is listed as affiliated with three other pro-Cruz super PACs organized under the Keep the Promise umbrella.

"We are excited to welcome Governor Perry and Keep The Promise for Veterans to help elect Ted Cruz our next President," said a statement from Laura Barnett, a spokeswoman for one of the Keep the Promise super PACs. "Governor Perry’s voice on veterans issues will be a strong asset for Senator Cruz as the GOP nomination continues to unfold."

Over the past few weeks, Keep the Promise officials held meetings with Perry in Texas to discuss his role in their efforts, Barnett said. The meetings included Keep the Promise I president Kellyanne Conway, Keep the Promise PAC head David Barton and Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of Cruz megadonor Robert Mercer.

It was not immediately clear who plans to fund Keep the Promise to Veterans, but the Keep the Promise network is flush with cash: It entered 2016 with almost $30 million in the bank. Walt said no money had been deposited in the Keep the Promise to Veterans' account as of Friday morning.

The creation of the group comes with just over a week to go until the first-in-the-South primary here in the Palmetto State, home to a large military and veteran population. Perry has said he plans to stump for Cruz in the state ahead of the Feb. 20 nominating contest.

Keep the Promise to Veterans was first reported by Bloomberg Politics.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2016/02/12/perry-help-recruit-veterans-cruz/.