George P. Bush
|George Prescott Bush|
28th Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
|Assumed office |
January 2, 2015
|Preceded by||Jerry Patterson|
|Born|| April 24, 1976|
|Spouse(s)||Amanda L. Williams Bush (married 2003)|
|Relations|| Jeb Bush (father)|
|Alma mater|| Rice University|
University of Texas School of Law
George Prescott Bush (born April 24, 1976) is an attorney in the capital city of Austin, Texas, a veteran of the United States Navy in the Afghanistan War and the last member of the Bush political dynasty holding elected office in the United States.
Bush is the son of former Governor Jeb Bush, a Moderate Republican from Florida, the nephew of former U.S. President George W. Bush, the grandson of former President George Herbert Walker Bush, and the great-son of U.S. Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut, also a Moderate Republican. Since 2015, Bush has been the Texas state land commissioner. With more than 58 percent of the ballots cast, Bush won re-nomination to a second term in the primary election held on March 6, 2018.
In 2014, George P. Bush handily won the Republican nomination for land commissioner against the more conservative David Watts. He then secured a landslide victory in the general election. Considered to have presidential ambitions, Bush could have challenged a Republican incumbent in his primary by running for the United States Senate (against Ted Cruz), for Attorney General (against Ken Paxton), Lieutenant Governor (against Dan Patrick), or even challenge Governor Greg Abbott. Instead he successfully sought re-nomination in the Republican primary.
In the 2018 primary, Bush defeated three challengers, the best known of whom is Jerry Patterson who preceded Bush as land commissioner and ran unsuccessfully in 2014 for lieutenant governor against Dan Patrick, the winner of the contest, and two other intra-party candidates, then incumbent David Dewhurst and then outgoing Agriculture Commissioner Douglas Todd Staples. Two other land commissioner candidates included Davey Edwards, a land surveyor from Decatur in Wise County north of Fort Worth, and Rick Range, a former firefighter from Garland in Dallas County who is writing a book on The Alamo. Patterson, Edwards, and Range all oppose Bush's plan to 'RE-IMAGINE' the Alamo, the former Roman Catholic mission in San Antonio which the Mexican Army toppled on March 6, 1836, with the slaughter of all 187 Texan defenders. Edwards called only for routine maintenance of the structure, not the massive reorganization proposed by Bush which entails removal of the cenotaph dedicated to the defenders of The Alamo. Bush critics claim that the changes would lead to political correctness issues because some of the Alamo defenders were slaveholders.
Bush declined to appear at candidate forums attended by Patterson, Edwards, and Range so as to limit his challengers' public exposure. He instead spent heavily on advertising on social media, having made the claim that he is "a conservative" and has been the "most effective" land commissioner in Texas history. "I relied on my track record. It was important to go into homes in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, rather than soap-boxing in front of the media," Bush said in support of his "unconventional" campaign strategy. Bush carried the endorsement of U.S. President Donald Trump, whom he had also openly backed in the 2016 general election. The other Bush family members have been highly critical of the Trump administration even as they never challenged the record of George W. Bush's successor, Barack H. Obama. George P. Bush's nomination keeps alive his family political dynasty. Speculation persists that George P. Bush will later run for governor or U.S. senator in 2022 or 2024 and then president in the 2030s.
On the same day as its primary endorsement of Bush for re-nomination as land commissioner, The Express-News reported that Bush's name is not found on records for his 4,000-square-foot house in an exclusive gated community in west Austin. The house was purchased in 2014 by the San Houston Trust, which received an $850,000 mortgage loan from a bank owned by Brandon Steele, a political donor to both Jeb and George P. Bush. The Express-News said that Bush violated no law in shielding the ownership of his property, but an office-seeker must legally disclose any "beneficial interest" in real estate or loans exceeding $1,000.
In the November 6 general election, Bush faces the Democrat Miguel Suazo, an energy attorney in Austin and a former aide to former U.S. Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico. Both Bush and Suazo carried endorsements from The San Antonio Express-News for their respective primary races.
In September 2018, former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, on his Facebook page, announced that he, Range, Edwards, and David Watts – all opponents of George P. Bush in the 2014 and 2018 primaries – are supporting the Democrat Miguel Suazo, rather than fellow Republican Bush. Patterson said that the decision is based on Suazo's commitment to preserving the historical integrity of The Alamo and keeping the cenotaph in place. Otherwise, Patterson said that he will vote straight Republican in the mid-term election.
- Peggy Fikac, "Predecessor will challenge Bush, citing Alamo project: GOP primary fight ahead, San Antonio Express-News, December 10, 2017, pp. 1, A4.
- Alamo activist challenging Bush in Land Commissioner's race. Usnews.com (November 1, 2017). Retrieved on December 10, 2017.
- Alejandra Matos, "Bush political dynasty lives on: Land commissioner's low-key strategy worked", San Antonio Express-News, March 11, 2018, pp. A3, A9.
- Alexandra Maton, "Bush did not disclose home, loan," San Antonio Express-News, February 17, 2018, pp. 1, SA15.
- Susan Pope, publisher: "Ortiz Jones, Hurd in 23rd District, San Antonio Express-News, February 17, 2018, p. A16.
- Bowden, John (December 11, 2018). George P. Bush calls for Confederate plaque to come down. The Hill. Retrieved December 11, 2018.