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Former presidential candidate and permanent gadfly H. Ross Perot has endorsed Texas democratic Gov. Ann Richards in herfight against George W. Bush. Perot called the Democrat "one of the greatest governors in the history of Texas" and then slugged the son of the ex-President -- a Dallas oilman and managing general partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team. "Running Texas as governor is big business. It is not an athletic event," he said. Richards was all smiles. "I'm really pleased to be endorsed by someone who is the personification of change in government," she said.The endorsement could have a significant impact on the outcome of the race -- so far a dead heat, says TIME Austin Bureau Chief Sam Gwynne. "Even one percent counts in this race," he says. But the endorsement is particularly significant since most Perot fans are likely GOP voters, says Gwynne.