The Family Legacy

Mystery solved: Why George P. Bush chose to run for this surprise Texas political office

Mystery solved: Why George P. Bush chose to run for this surprise Texas political office

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George W. Bush, from left, George P. Bush and George H.W. Bush at at literacy event earlier this year George W. Bush , George P. Bush , George H.W. Bush Courtesy of David Shutts Photography
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George P. Bush at the Latinos at Rice event in September Photo by Jeff Fitlow
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Joe Kennedy III was voted into the House of Representatives on election night, ending the two-year period in which no Kennedy served in Congress or the White House for the first time since 1946.

But the Kennedys aren't the only political dynasty with a new generation ready to tackle a high-profile election. According to a fundraising letter sent by former Florida governor Jeb Bush, George P. Bush — son of Jeb and grandson of president George H.W. Bush — is planning a run for Texas Land Commissioner.

The letter, sent to donors on Tuesday, was re-printed online by the Tampa Bay Times. It reads in part:

Last week, George P. opened a campaign account to explore the opportunity to run for statewide office in Texas. I am writing to ask that you consider making a personal contribution as he begins his quest for public service.

While the election is in 2014, it is important to show early financial support, particularly in a state as big as Texas. The office that George is considering running for is Land Commissioner which overseas the mineral rights, commercial real estate owned and sovereign submerged lands of the State of Texas as well as veterans affairs and historic archives.

The letter appears to confirm the rumors that swirled throughout the state last week when Bush set up a website and filed a campaign treasurer appointment with the Texas Ethics Commission as required by campaign finance law.

Despite an archaic-sounding title, the Texas Land Commissioner has real power in the state, managing billions of dollars of state assets and chairing nine boards whose responsibilities range from administering the Permanent School Fund to Texas' public schools to guarding the state's mineral rights and coasts.

As The Dallas Morning News notes, current land commissioner Jerry Patterson has already signaled that he will run for lieutenant governor in 2014, so George P. Bush would not face an incumbent in the race.

George P. is a graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas Law School, and Bush's fundraising letter notes that he has been a chairman of Maverick PAC, a political action committee aimed at young professionals, and the Hispanic Republicans of Texas. George P. is also an intelligence officer in the Navy Reserves who spent six months in Afghanistan in 2011 and a partner in a real estate investment company.