(CNN) - Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison formally announced her bid for Texas governor Monday morning, challenging fellow Republican and incumbent Rick Perry and sparking what could be a bitter intra-party fight in the Lone Star State.
"It is with pride and humility for history that I announce today that I am a candidate for Governor of Texas," Hutchison said in remarks prepared for delivery in La Marque, Texas. The town will be her first stop in a five-day, 19-stop "Texas Can Do Better" tour.
The four-term senator graduated from high school in La Marque in 1961.
"Let me start by saying this about Rick Perry. He's a dedicated public servant. I know he loves Texas. But now he's trying to stay too long - 14 years, maybe longer," said Hutchison.
Perry took over as Texas governor in late 2000, after then-Gov. George W. Bush stepped down to serve as president. Perry won election to a full term in 2002, and was re-elected four years later.
Hutchison says she'll give up her Senate seat later this year to focus solely on the governor's race.
–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.