George P. Bush, the eldest son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, filed paperwork in the Lone Star State to run for land commissioner, a post that’s seen as a jumping-off point for more prominent statewide office.
“If you believe, as I do, that Texas is truly an exceptional place with a rich heritage and a future of unbound potential, then I ask for your support as I run for Texas Land commissioner in 2014,” Bush said in the two minute, forty-five second spot.
In the video, he discusses traveling all over Texas in the last few months, weighing a decision about running for office. He said there was one person in particular who truly inspired him.
“You probably know her as former first lady Barbara Bush, but to me she’s just Ganny. The lesson Ganny taught me? The importance of public service, and I have tried to live up to those values,” he said.
He mentions his time teaching at a public high school, helping organizations like Big Brothers and Big Sisters in North Texas and serving in the naval reserve.
“I am again constantly reminded that as Texans, we are exceptional people,” he said.
As land commissioner, he vowed to address issues involving veterans affairs, education funding, energy policy, natural resources, coastline problems, and historical archives.
The land commissioner in Texas is responsible for state-owned land and mineral rights, and is regarded as a stepping stone for higher statewide office. The current lieutenant governor of Texas, David Dewhurst, previously served as land commissioner.
“Texas Land Commissioner is a great fit for George P. Bush,” Austin-based Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said, pointing to Bush’s experience in education and his military service, which included a deployment to Afghanistan.
“He will likely escape a serious primary, while raising significant money, helping down ballot candidates, growing the Republican Party and building his own statewide organization. His future in Texas is very bright,” Mackowiak said.
Bush, who first filed documents with the Texas Ethics Commission to run for office in November, co-founded the group Hispanic Republicans of Texas, billed as the first Texas-based political action committee that recruits Hispanic candidates for political office. His mother hails from Mexico.
Bush has deep ties to Texas — his uncle George W. Bush served as governor before being elected president, and the younger Bush attended Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law.
He hit the trail as a top surrogate for George W. Bush during both of his presidential campaigns, though earlier this year said he had “no specific plans” to run for office.
A Texas conservative activist, who asked to remain anonymous so as to speak candidly, said the land commission post was a “slam dunk” for Bush.
“Remember, he supported [Conservative senator] Ted Cruz early and took a risk there. He’s considered to be more conservative than his grandpa and uncle W. I doubt anyone will even pose a real challenge,” the activist said.
CNN’s Paul Steinhauser, Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
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