George P. Bush: One Step Closer to Texas Land Commissioner

Image: George P. Bush: One Step Closer to Texas Land Commissioner

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 10:04 AM

By Michael Mullins

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George P. Bush, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush, launched his political career with a win Tuesday night, securing the Republican nomination for the little-known but powerful post of Texas land commissioner.

The 37-year-old attorney from Fort Worth, Texas, whose mother is Mexican, won in part by appealing to the state's Hispanic voter base, a demographic the Republican Party has traditionally struggled to court.

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"We don't have to change our conservative principles to win, we just need to change our tactics," Bush told a crowd at his victory party at a Fort Worth Mexican restaurant Tuesday night, where he spoke in both English and Spanish, The Associated Press reported.

"You'll see that we have Tea Party friends, that we have mainstream conservatives, we have strong Latino support and a lot of younger voters," Bush added.

There was no incumbent running for the state-wide office, and Bush is clearly the frontrunner. He raised $3.5 million during the campaign thanks largely to his political-royalty surname, according to the AP. In contrast, Bush's opponent, an East Texas businessman named David Watts, reportedly could barely afford to travel the state.

In the actual election, Bush will go up against Democratic El Paso Mayor John Cook, who is considered an underdog in the race. A Democrat hasn't held statewide office in Texas for two decades. That election will be in November.

Born in Houston, Bush grew up in Florida, where his father was governor from 1998 to 2007.

After college, Bush taught at an inner-city Miami school before earning a law degree from the University of Texas. He went on to clerk for a federal judge and found a capital company in Fort Worth.

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Prior to entering the political arena, Bush served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan in 2010 with U.S. Naval Intelligence, where he used an alias for security reasons.

When asked about his politics in December, Bush told the AP that he's "a movement conservative" who is in line with the Tea Party, adding that "on social questions, national defense, economic issues, I'm a strong conservative."

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