George P Bush begins political career with win
05 March 2014, 13:40
Fort Worth - George P Bush took the first step toward continuing his family's political dynasty on Tuesday, shaking off an under-funded primary challenger and securing the Republican nomination for the little-known but powerful post of Texas land commissioner.
The 37-year-old Fort Worth attorney is the grandson of former President George H W Bush, nephew of former President and Texas Governor George W Bush, and son of ex-Florida Governor Jeb Bush who is frequently mentioned as a possible Republican White House hopeful in 2016.
He's also a Spanish speaker whose mother Columba was born in Mexico and who Republican leaders state-wide long have touted as key to wooing voters among Texas' booming Hispanic population.
"We don't have to change our conservative principles to win, we just need to change our tactics", said Bush, who spoke English and Spanish to the crowd at his victory party at a Fort Worth Mexican restaurant. His mother was among the attendees.
He noted that his campaign travelled to numerous heavily Hispanic areas, including making several trips to the Texas-Mexico border.
Tuesday's result was never in doubt. There was no incumbent running and Bush used his American political-royalty surname to raise more than $3.5m while his opponent, East Texas businessman David Watts, could barely afford to travel the state.
Bush immediately becomes the overwhelming favourite in November against Democratic nominee and former El Paso Mayor John Cook. A Democrat hasn't captured state-wide office in Texas in 20 years.
The land commissioner administers Texas’s vast, state-owned lands and mineral resources, and it's a post that can be a stepping stone to higher office. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst was land commissioner before winning his current job.
Bush taught school in inner-city Miami before earning a law degree from the University of Texas and clerking for a federal judge. He later founded a capital company in Fort Worth and, in 2010, served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan with US Naval Intelligence under an assumed name.