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Rick Perry drops out of presidential race

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is dropping out of the presidential race, he announced during a speech in St. Louis Friday. "We have a tremendous field — the best in a generation — so I step aside knowing our party is in good hands as long as we listen to the grassroots," Perry said. "I share this news with no regrets. It has been a privilege and an honor to travel this country, to speak with the American people about their hopes and dreams, to see a sense of optimism prevalent despite a season of cynical politics."

Perry, who has been plagued by middling poll numbers and an inability to pay his staff, is the first candidate to drop out of the race. Sixteen GOP candidates remain.