ABC News' Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) reports: After months of speculation and prodding by Republicans, Texas Governor Rick Perry has officially entered the 2012 race. His spokesman, Mark Miner confirmed that Perry is running for president. Perry will deliver a speech at the RedState.com Gathering in Charleston, S.C. Saturday. The speech was originally billed as an address that would make clear his intentions regarding a run for the presidency, but now it has turned official. Read more about Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The Texas Governor will swing through three key early states – South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa – this weekend. Following his speech in Charleston, he will meet with S.C. Republican officials before heading to a house party in Greenland, New Hampshire where he will meet with Granite State voters. Sunday, he will speak at the Black Hawk GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner Fundraiser in Waterloo, Iowa. Earlier today, Michele Bachmann, who was born in Waterloo, announced she will also speak at the dinner. Perry, the longest serving governor in the country, has never lost a race during his nearly three decades in public office. When ABC affiliate KVUE asked Perry if the AP report was true, he signed and dated a print-out of the AP report. Watch video of Perry at the KVUE newsroom. The announcement from the Perry camp comes just hours before the Texas governor’s soon-to-be rivals are squaring off in a major debate in Iowa. Perry’s entrance into the race is sure to be a topic for discussion at the gathering Thursday night in Ames.