AddThis ShareDavid [email protected] Amy [email protected] University political experts available to comment on Rick Perry’s expected entry into GOP race for White House Lyn Ragsdale, dean of Rice University’s School of Social Sciences and professor of political science, and Robert Stein, professor of political science and a fellow in urban politics at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, are available to comment on Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s expected entry Saturday into the GOP race for the White House. Both Ragsdale and Stein foresee a Perry candidacy as having a significant impact on the party and its current field of contenders. ”Perry provides an interesting candidacy for the Republican Party, pushing it further to the right and making the tea party stronger and more credible,” Ragsdale said. ”I also think that his candidacy increases the likelihood that Sarah Palin will enter the race because she sees herself as the true leader of the social conservative Republican base, and it will be hard for her to accept a Perry candidacy.””Perry isn’t just angling for the ‘conservative’ mantle — that is, knocking off Michele Bachman, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum,” Stein said. ”He is also looking to cast Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman as too moderate/liberal. His strategy is then to place Mitt Romney closer to Huntsman and Pawlenty than to the right of the party, a sort of one-two punch.”To schedule an interview with Ragsdale or Stein, contact Amy Hodges, senior media relations representative at Rice, at [email protected] or 713-348-6777. More on Ragsdale:An expert on the history of the presidency, Ragsdale served as head of the Political Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago before coming to Rice in 2006. Previously, she was on the faculty at the University of Arizona for 20 years. Ragsdale received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982. She is the past president of the Western Political Association and has served as the editor of Political Research Quarterly. She has authored four books on the American presidency and U.S. Congress. More on Stein:Stein is an expert on urban politics and public policy. He is co-author of ”Perpetuating the Pork Barrel: Policy Subsystems and American Democracy” and author of ”Urban Alternatives: Public and Private Markets in the Provision of Local Services.” His work has also appeared in a wide range of scholarly journals. Stein’s current research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and examines the impact of the federal aid system on the electoral trajectories of office holders at both the subnational and congressional levels. Other research examines collective action among metropolitan area governments and voting behavior.