George P. Bush

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In September 2012, Bush announced his intention to run for office, saying that he was considering one of several state offices. Two months later he filed papers required to run for state office in Texas. [28] The same month, his father, Jeb Bush, emailed donors requesting that they support him in his 2014 bid for Texas Land Commissioner. [29] [30]

In January 2013, Bush filed a campaign finance report stating he had received about $1.3 million in campaign contributions. [31] In March 2013, Bush filed to run for Texas Land Commissioner. [31] [32] The main role of the Land Office is negotiating and enforcing leases for mineral rights on millions of acres of land owned by the State of Texas. [33]

By June 2013, Bush had raised $3.3 million even though no Democratic candidate had emerged for land commissioner. [34] On November 19, 2013, he officially filed the papers to run for Texas land commissioner. [35]

In the 2014 Republican primary, outgoing Land Commissioner Jerry E. Patterson ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor [36] [37] while Bush defeated David Watts of Gilmer in Upshur County for the Republican nomination for land commissioner; Bush received 74 percent of the vote, totalling 937,987 votes to Watts' 27 percent with 346,949 votes. [36]

In the November 4 general election, Bush faced Democrat John Cook, a former mayor of El Paso. [38] Bush won 61 percent of the vote against token opposition, carrying "virtually every demographic" and riding a nationwide Republican wave in the midterms. [39] [40] He became the only Bush to win his first election. [41]

2018 election

As of January 2017, Bush had about $3.1 million in campaign cash for his re-election campaign. [42] He won the March 6, 2018, Republican primary with nearly 58 percent of the vote, defeating three other candidates including Jerry E. Patterson, the previous land commissioner. [43] In the general election, Bush received 53.68 percent of the vote to Democratic candidate Miguel Suazo's 43.19 percent and Libertarian Matt Pina's 3.1 percent. [44] [45] [46]

Tenure

Bush assumed office on January 2, 2015. [47]

Bush welcomes President Donald Trump to an International Union of Operating Engineers training center in Crosby, Texas, on April 10, 2019 Trump meets with George P. Bush in April 2019.jpg
Bush welcomes President Donald Trump to an International Union of Operating Engineers training center in Crosby, Texas, on April 10, 2019

As state land commissioner, Bush oversees the Texas General Land Office (GLO), which manages about 13 million acres of state land and is in charge of auctions for leases to extract oil and natural gas on those lands. [42]

In 2015, the GLO under Bush took control of the Alamo, a historic site in San Antonio, ending the state's partnership with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), which had managed the site for decades. [48] In firing DRT as managers of the Alamo, Bush alleged that the group had violated its contract. [49] Bush locked the DRT out of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, and the GLO claimed ownership over the Library's collections and artifacts. DRT sued, and the suit was settled in 2016, with Bush and the GLO relinquishing their claims and agreeing to pay the DRT $200,000 in legal fees. [50] Bush oversaw a $450-million remodel of the Alamo and the plaza around it. [42] In 2015, Bush spoke at a fundraising event for the Alamo Endowment, which took over management of the site in conjunction with the GLO. [48] English singer Phil Collins donated various Alamo-related artifacts to the State of Texas, with the stipulation that the State of Texas build a facility to hold the artifacts within a seven-year period. [48] [49] The Texas state legislature made a one-time infusion of $25 million to Bush's GLO to redevelop the Alamo site, and the city of San Antonio agreed to provide $1 million for the redevelopment. [49]

Bush dismissed some one hundred land commission employees hired under the preceding Commissioner Jerry E. Patterson. According to the San Antonio Express-News , Bush paid almost $1 million in taxpayer funds to encourage the dismissed personnel not to file suit against either him or the agency. He kept at least forty persons on the payroll for up to five months after terminating their employment; they agreed in writing not to sue. [51]

In 2016, the office began a multi-year study on the flood effects of the Houston area and Texas coast. [52]

In June 2020, amid reports that George W. Bush and Jeb Bush would not support Trump's re-election, [53] George P. Bush announced his full support for Trump, saying "Trump is the only thing standing between America and socialism." [53] [54]

In 2021, Bush supported the ouster of Liz Cheney from her position as chair of the House Republican Conference in Congress. [55]

In 2020 and 2021, Bush said he was considering running for Texas attorney general in 2022 against incumbent Ken Paxton, a Republican plagued by scandal. [56] [57] On June 2, 2021, Bush officially announced his candidacy. [58]

2022 Texas Attorney General election

In June 2021, Bush entered the race for Texas Attorney General with a campaign video that praises Donald Trump and does not mention his father, grandfather, or great-grandfather. [59] [60] Trump then endorsed Bush's opponent, Ken Paxton. [61]

During the campaign, Bush criticized the ways in which Paxton sought to overturn the 2020 election results, but said that he did not disagree with Paxton's "intent." [62] His campaign talking points were "massive voter fraud", "critical race theory" in schools, finishing the "Trump wall", and district attorneys in big cities "who are not on the side of law enforcement. He also said he would "go after human traffickers and drug cartels". [63]

Bush obtained 32% of the vote in the primary election, being defeated by Paxton who obtained 68% of the vote. [64] The Texas Tribune wrote Bush's "defeat could mark the end of a four-generation political dynasty." [65]

Political activities

Bush speaking at the 1992 Republican National Convention During Mrs. Bush's speech at the Republican National Convention at the Houston Astrodome, her grandson George P. Bush... - NARA - 186456 copy 2 (cropped).jpg
Bush speaking at the 1992 Republican National Convention

Campaign activities for his relatives and Donald Trump

At the age of 12, Bush spoke before the 1988 Republican National Convention, which nominated his grandfather. He also spoke at the 1992 convention on the occasion of his renomination. He campaigned for his uncle, George W. Bush, during his successful 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns, often performing outreach to Latino voters. [66] [34] He worked on the 2000 presidential campaign from 1999 to 2000. [6] [7] [3] [8] Bush has called himself a "George W. Bush Republican" on immigration reform, and has expressed support for portions of the DREAM Act in the past. [67]

When asked in 2003 about whether he planned to run for office himself, Bush replied that his grandmother, Barbara Bush, had advised that anyone thinking about entering politics should distinguish himself in some other field first: "Make a name for yourself, have a family, marry someone great, have some kids, buy a house, pay taxes, and do the things everyone also does instead of just running out and saying, 'Hey, I'm the nephew of or the son of or the grandson of...'" [68]

His father campaigned in the 2016 Republican presidential race, but later dropped out. After his father's exit, Bush campaigned for Donald Trump while most of the remainder of the Bush family did not support him. [42] [60] By 2021, ABC News described Bush as an "avowed Trump backer" and Trump, who had shown animosity toward the Bush family in the past, favorably coined Bush as "My Bush." [69] [70]

Republican Party positions

As of 2012, he was the deputy finance chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. [71]

Work on Political Action Committees

Bush was the national co-chair of Maverick PAC, a national political action committee dedicated to engaging the next generation of Republican voters. [72] Bush served as a member of several diplomacy missions, including one to Nicaragua for the second peaceful transfer of power in that country, and one to Brazil for the Pan American Games in 2007. He also joined two US Congressional delegations, one to Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring of 2011 and one to Turkey in 2012 at the time of the civil war in neighboring Syria. [73]

Bush is a co-founder and serves on the board of directors of Hispanic Republicans of Texas, a political action committee whose goal is to elect Republican political candidates to office in the state. [74]

Opinions

In August 2004, during a trip to Mexico sponsored by the group Republicans Abroad, he called Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez a dictator [75] and criticized the U.S. Border Patrol's use of guns which fire plastic pellets packed with chili powder. Bush was quoted as telling Mexican media, "If there has been American approval for this policy, that is reprehensible. It's kind of barbarous." He attributed the gun usage to "some local INS guy who's trying to be tough, act macho", although it is an agency policy. [76]

In 2009, Bush criticized Florida Governor Charlie Crist for accepting money from the 2009 stimulus package, calling for a return to fiscal conservatism. [77] In January 2010, he endorsed Marco Rubio, Crist's opponent for the United States Senate. [78]

Bush said that climate change is a serious threat to Texas but he does not accept the scientific consensus which attributes climate change to human activity. [79]

In February 2021, Texas experienced a humanitarian crisis after widespread power outages were caused by the infrastructure not being weatherized. Although 90 percent of the power plants that failed were fueled by fossil and nuclear fuels, Bush attacked wind and solar energy: "If the last few days have proven anything, it’s that we need oil & gas. Relying solely on renewable energy would be catastrophic." [80] [81] [82]

Personal life

He was featured in People 's 100 most eligible bachelors in 2000. [76] [83]

Bush married law school classmate, Amanda L. Williams, on August 7, 2004, in Kennebunkport, Maine, at St. Ann's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church [84] [85] Williams is a media law attorney at the firm Jackson Walker LLP in Fort Worth, Texas. [29] [86] [87] The couple has two sons. [88]

Awards and honors

In 2016, the League of United Latin American Citizens Council No. 12 in Laredo gave Bush and Mexican official José Antonio Meade Kuribreña the titles of Señor Internacional, an honor given to distinguished figures in the border region. [89]

Electoral history

George P. Bush
George P. Bush crop.jpg
28th Land Commissioner of Texas
In office
January 2, 2015 January 10, 2023
Texas Land Commissioner Election, 2018
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanGeorge P. Bush4,414,77953.7
DemocraticMiguel Suazo3,542,58743.1
LibertarianMatt Piña257,5323.1
2018 Texas General Land Commissioner Republican Primary Election
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican George P. Bush (Incumbent)859,20958.2
Republican Jerry E. Patterson 438,34629.7
Republican Davey Edwards101,0746.8
Republican Rick Range77,9365.3
Texas Land Commissioner Republican Primary Election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanGeorge P. Bush937,98773.00
RepublicanDavid Watts346,94927.00
Texas Land Commissioner Election, 2014
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanGeorge P. Bush2,827,58460.68
Democratic John Cook 1,645,82835.32
LibertarianJustin Knight126,4222.71
GreenValerie Alessi60,1161.29

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Political offices
Preceded by Land Commissioner of Texas
2015–2023
Succeeded by