Texas Gov. Rick Perry is building up his conservative credentials in a tough Republican gubernatorial primary race against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, earning the endorsement Wednesday of the leader of the Minuteman Project Jim Gilchrist
Gilchrist will be in Dallas in the afternoon to help shore up Perry's tough on immigration credentials.
Hutchison campaign officials call Perry's appearance with Gilchrist a flip flop.
"When it comes to border security, Rick Perry's a Minuteman in the campaign but then takes a minute to forget what he said when the election is over. Five years ago, Perry didn't want the Minutemen in Texas. Today, he’s holding an event with them," campaign aide Jeff Sadosky said.
Hutchison has trailed Perry in the polls for weeks and sources close to her campaign say they are starting to look at the possibility of a runoff election. The four-term senator says she's been damaged by Perry's efforts to portray her as a Washington insider.
To win Tuesday's Republican primary, a candidate must garner 50 percent of the vote. Perry has been leading for a while, but has not polled above 50 percent, in part because Perry and Hutchison are on the ballot with a third Republican candidate, Debra Medina.
A Public Policy Polling poll released Tuesday showed Perry with 40 percent to Hutchison's 31 percent. Medina is drawing 20 percent of the vote. The poll taken Feb. 19-21 of 400 likely Republican primary voters has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.
Jake Gibson is a producer working at the Fox News Washington bureau who covers politics, law enforcement and intelligence issues.