Rick Perry Gets Backing Of 'Walmart County'

Texas governor gets some Arkansas love

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the newest candidate to join the 2012 GOP presidential race, is arriving with a big and symbolic endorsement from "Walmart County."

As he announced his bid for the White House, three Arkansas Republican Party county chairs came out to back Perry including the boss of Benton County, home to Bentonville's Walmart, a corporate friend of Republicans. [See a collection of cartoons about the GOP hopefuls.]

County GOP Chairman Mike Seevak joined with the chairs of Pulaski, home to Little Rock, Ark., and Sebastian on the Oklahoma border.

"Often county chairs don't endorse this early and during primaries," state Rep. David Sanders, who is heading up Arkansans for Perry, told our Suzi Parker. "But they recognize Gov. Perry's strengths especially in job creation in Texas so they decided to go ahead and join up." 

And it probably didn't hurt that like Perry, Seevak is from Texas.

Winning the Benton County GOP endorsement is symbolic to some who see it as backing from Middle America's retail capital. [Read more about the 2012 presidential election.]

Sanders and 19 legislators came out a few weeks ago in support of Perry. Next up for the group: get Perry to Arkansas for a major fundraiser and then fan out to primary states to spread the word about Perry a la the Clinton FOBs in 1992.

"We look at it as neighbor helping neighbor," Sanders said.