Jeb Bush's Son Courts Fellow Hispanics in Texas

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Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 07:48 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is campaigning to persuade Hispanic voters to support him and the Republican Party.

According to The Wall Street Journal, George P. Bush, who is also the nephew of former President George W. Bush and son of a Mexican mother, is running for Texas land commissioner in next month's primary.

He says he feels a "moral imperative" to reach out to the Hispanic community, which he believes shares many values with Republicans, including a business mindset and a conservative approach to social issues.

"We can't complain as a community unless we register to vote," the 37-year-old Bush said during a speech in which he mixed Spanish and English, according to the Journal.

Republicans and Democrats want to appeal to the Hispanic vote, which makes up nearly 40 percent of the Texas population and is projected to make up a majority of the state by 2050, according to the Journal.

At the same time, Latinos are less likely to vote than whites, and Democrats have a 46 percent to 27 percent advantage on "party preference" among Texas Hispanics, according to a recent poll, the Journal said.

Bush attended law school in Texas before becoming a corporate lawyer and real estate investor in Fort Worth. He is currently considered the front-runner, partially due to a campaign war chest of $2.8 million.

Bush is running against David Watts, a business consultant, who has $2,000 cash on hand and $4,000 in debt. The winner of the March 4 primary will face Democrat John Cook, a former El Paso mayor.

The Texas GOP is optimistic about Bush's prospects and believes the race will be a chance to make progress in attracting Hispanic voters to the party.

Texas Republican Chairman Steve Munisteri told the Journal that the GOP "realizes it needs to look more like the rest of the state. It can't look like a bunch of elderly white people."

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