AUSTIN — George P. Bush on Monday formally announced he is seeking re-election as Texas land commissioner next year, hoping to continue running a little-known but powerful agency in a state where his political-dynasty family has been prominent for decades.
Bush’s grandfather, President George H.W. Bush, was once a Texas congressman, and his uncle, George W. Bush, won two Texas gubernatorial elections before leaving for the White House.
George P. Bush, 41, grew up in Florida, where his father, Jeb, was governor and launched his unsuccessful presidential campaign last year. The younger Bush won the position of Texas’ land commissioner handily in 2014, becoming the first in his family to win his first election.
After his father bowed out of the 2016 presidential race, Bush campaigned for Donald Trump as chairman of the Texas Republican Party’s victory committee — even though his family shunned the eventual president.
Describing himself as a movement conservative in the Newt Gingrich mold, Bush has said for months that Trump’s success repudiating politics-as-usual won’t make it harder for a member of one of the country’s most famous families to succeed in upcoming elections.
Bush’s path to re-election looks easy. He had $3.1-plus million in campaign cash as of January, no major Republicans have expressed interest in challenging him in the state party’s March 6 primary, and he is unlikely to draw a formidable Democrat in the general election.
A former teacher and oil and gas consultant who speaks fluent Spanish, Bush served in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer for the U.S. Naval Reserve. His mother, Columba, was born in Mexico, and Bush has for years been considered a rising national star who can raise the Republican Party’s profile with Hispanic voters.
There had been speculation that Bush could attempt to jump to a higher-profile Texas office, especially with state Attorney General Ken Paxton having been indicted on felony securities fraud charges.
But Bush has long said he planned to run again for his current post. He made it official early Monday, unveiling a revamped campaign website that included a re-election video and emailing top supporters.