Ending months of speculation, Fort Worth attorney George P. Bush announced he would run for the office of Texas Land Commissioner with a Twitter message, after confirming that current Commissioner Jerry Patterson would not seek re-election
Bush, the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, nephew of former President of George W. Bush and son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, also launched a two-minute campaign video on Youtube. In it, he credits former First Lady Barbara Bush with his decision to seek public office. “The important lesson Ganny taught me was the importance of public service,” he said.
In January, the 36-year-old Bush filed a campaign finance report with the Texas Ethics Commission reporting he had gathered $1.3 million in campaign contributions, including $50,000 from a George Bush, whose hometown is listed as Midland, and another $50,000 from his father.
The Navy veteran said in his Youtube video that he wants to lead the General Land Office because it is responsible for public policy in areas he is passionate about: veteran’s affairs, education and energy.
“We respect and honor our veterans,” he said. “We know the men and women in our military deserve nothing but the best from each and every one of us.” He also called for “true and meaningful reform of a system that fails too many of our students.”
Democrats claimed Bush’s family’s record in office will prove detrimental to his political aspirations.
“Serving in elected office is a privilege, not a birthright. George Bush must go through the same public screening as any other candidate,” said Progress Texas Executive Director Matt Glazer.
“Polls show that Texans strongly reject the standardized testing and privatization policies his family has promoted. Unless George Bush can prove he’s not just another Bush, his candidacy is likely to be met with strong opposition across the state.”
Not surprisingly, Republican consultants reacted more favorably. “Great name, even better Rolodex,” said consultant Eric Bearse. “He’ll have to succeed on his own merits but he’s bright, talented and has unlimited potential.”
Bush’s website featured a story about his potential to lure Hispanic voters to the Republican Party. His mother, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was born in Mexico.