COLUMBIA, SC — Texas Gov. Rick Perry brought a 40-pound souvenir to Columbia that Gamecock fans hope he leaves behind.
Perry commissioned a bronze trophy of James Butler Bonham, a Saluda County native who became a hero at the battle of the Alamo.
The trophy will be exchanged between the governors of South Carolina and Texas based on who wins the annual USC-Texas A&M series that starts Thursday at Williams-Brice Stadium.
The schools are not taking part in the Bonham trophy.
Perry, an A&M grad who is considering another presidential run in 2016, is headlining campaign fundraisers during a two-day visit to Columbia.
To make sure folks knew where his allegiances stood, Perry wore a maroon sports jacket and Texas A&M golf shirt to the S.C. Republican party function on Wednesday.
During a speech at the S.C. GOP fundraiser, Perry thanked South Carolina for sending heroes like Bonham to the Alamo, considered a turning point in Texas' independence from Mexico. Seven South Carolinians fought in the famed battle, including the fort commander William Travis.
Bonham is considered the romantic hero of the 1836 Texas battle for leaving the Alamo to get help and returning through enemy lines despite knowing the large force of Mexican soldiers would attack soon. The trophy depicts Bonham starting his return to the fort.
"And you continue that great tradition of South Carolinains helping out the great state of Texas," Perry said. "We appreciate you sending (USC star defensive end) Jadeveon Clowney to the Houston Texans."