George P. Bush
George P. Bush
|28th Land Commissioner of Texas|
|Assumed office |
January 2, 2015
|Preceded by||Jerry E. Patterson|
George Prescott Bush
April 24, 1976
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Amanda Williams (m. 2003)
|Parents||Jeb Bush (father)|
Columba Bush (mother)
|Education||Rice University (BA)|
University of Texas, Austin (JD)
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||2007–2017|
|Battles/wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Awards||Joint Service Commendation Medal|
George Prescott Bush (born April 24, 1976) is an American corporate lawyer, former U.S. Navy Reserve officer, real estate investor, and politician who serves as the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office.
A fourth-generation elected official as a member of the Bush family, he is the oldest child of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a nephew of the 43rd President George W. Bush, and a grandson of the 41st President George H. W. Bush, after whom he is named. Bush's middle name is taken from his great-grandfather, Senator Prescott Bush.
Early life and education
Bush was born in Houston, Texas, to Jeb and Columba Bush (née Garnica Gallo). Bush has two siblings: younger sister Noelle Lucila Bush and younger brother John Ellis Bush, Jr. In 1994, Bush was arrested for burglary in the Killian area of Miami, Florida, but not charged. He attended law school at University of Texas School of Law, where he earned a Juris Doctor degree in 2003. Like his grandfather and uncle (both at Yale), Bush was a freshman walk-on to the baseball team at Rice University, but left the team by his sophomore year. Bush played quarterback for the Jones College intramural football team. He was also featured in People Magazine's top 100 Bachelors in 2000.
After law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Sidney A. Fitzwater.
Bush managed St. Augustine Partners, an energy and technology-focused investment firm in Fort Worth, Texas. Previously, he co-founded Pennybacker Capital, LLC, a real estate private equity firm in Austin, Texas. The firm was originally named N3 Capital and headquartered in Fort Worth. Bush left Pennybacker Capital in 2012. Before entering the real estate investment business, he practiced corporate and securities law in Dallas with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP. In 2005, Bush was selected as one of Texas Monthly's "Rising Stars" for his work with Akin Gump.
Bush was the national co-chair of Maverick PAC, a national political action committee dedicated to engaging the next generation of Republican voters. Bush was also a co-founder and on the board of directors of Hispanic Republicans of Texas, a political action committee whose goal is to elect Republican political candidates of Hispanic heritage to office in Texas.
On March 21, 2007, the United States Navy Reserve announced the selection of Bush for training as an intelligence officer through the direct commission officer program, a Navy initiative whereby applicants in specialized civilian fields forgo the typical prerequisites of a commission, such as the Naval Academy, NROTC or OCS, and – instead – attend three weeks of Direct Commissioned Officer Indoctrination Course (DCOIC) classes on subjects such as naval history, customs and courtesies, followed by online classes. Bush told The Politico that attending the October 2006 launch of the aircraft carrier named for his grandfather – the USS George H.W. Bush – inspired him to join the service. He also called the death of Pat Tillman, the NFL player and Army Ranger who was killed in a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan in 2004, "a wake-up call". Bush served in Operation Enduring Freedom for eight months and returned to the United States in 2011. During that deployment, he was given a different name for security purposes. Not even those he was serving alongside knew his real identity. Bush left the U.S. Navy Reserve on May 9, 2017 at the rank of Lieutenant.
At the age of 12, Bush spoke before the 1988 Republican National Convention, which nominated his grandfather. He also spoke at the 1992 convention on the occasion of George H. W. Bush's renomination. He campaigned for his uncle, George W. Bush, during the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. In his speeches he stated support for his uncle's position in favor of comprehensive immigration reform.
He has expressed his opinion on some issues. In August 2004, during a trip to Mexico sponsored by the group Republicans Abroad, he called Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez a dictator and criticized the U.S. Border Patrol's use of guns which fire plastic pellets packed with chili powder. Bush was quoted as telling Mexican media, "If there has been American approval for this policy, that is reprehensible. It's kind of barbarous." He attributed the gun usage to "some local INS guy who's trying to be tough, act macho", although it is an agency policy.
When asked in 2003 about whether he planned to run for office himself, Bush replied that his grandmother, Barbara Bush, had advised that anyone thinking about entering politics should distinguish himself in some other field first: "Make a name for yourself, have a family, marry someone great, have some kids, buy a house, pay taxes, and do the things everyone also does instead of just running out and saying, 'Hey, I'm the nephew of or the son of or the grandson of...'"
Bush criticized Florida Governor Charlie Crist (in office 2007–2011) for accepting money from the 2009 stimulus package, calling for a return to fiscal conservatism. In January 2010, he endorsed Marco Rubio, Crist's opponent for the United States Senate.
Bush served as a member of several diplomacy missions, including one to Nicaragua for the second peaceful transfer of power in that country, and one to Brazil for the Pan American Games in 2007. He also joined two US Congressional delegations, one to Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring of 2011 and one to Turkey in 2012 at the time of the civil war in neighboring Syria.
He was ranked one of "Newsmax's 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans" in 2016. His father ran in the 2016 Republican presidential race, but later dropped out. After his father's exit from the race, Bush campaigned for Donald Trump as chairman of the Texas Republican Party's effort on behalf of Trump. Most of the remainder of Bush's family refused to campaign for Trump.
Texas Land Commissioner
Bush announced in September 2012 his intention to run for office, saying that he was considering one of several state offices. Two months later he filed papers required to run for state office in Texas. The same month, his father, Jeb Bush, emailed donors requesting that they support him in his 2014 bid for Texas Land Commissioner.
In January 2013, Bush filed a campaign finance report stating he had received about $1.3 million in campaign contributions. In March 2013, Bush filed to run for Texas Land Commissioner. The main role of the Land Office is negotiating and enforcing leases for mineral rights on millions of acres of land owned by the State of Texas.
As of June 2013[update], Bush had raised $3.3 million even though no Democratic candidate had emerged for land commissioner. On November 19, 2013, he officially filed the papers to run for Texas land commissioner.
Outgoing Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in the 2014 Republican primary. In the same primary, Bush easily triumphed over his only opponent, David Watts of Gilmer in Upshur County. The tabulation was 934,571 votes (73 percent) to 345,565 (27 percent).
In the November 4 general election, Bush faced Democrat John Cook, a former mayor of El Paso. Bush won 61% of the vote, riding a nationwide Republican wave in the midterms. He is the only Bush to win his first election. He received a majority of the Hispanic vote in his general election race.
On June 19, 2017, Bush announced he would run for re-election to the Texas Land Commissioner position, focusing on veteran issues, protection for the Gulf Coast from future disasters, continue to renovate the Alamo, and financing Texas children's education. As of January 2017[update] he had about $3.1 million in campaign cash for his re-election campaign. Bush won the March 6, 2018, Republican primary with nearly 58% of the vote, defeating three other candidates including Jerry E. Patterson, the previous land commissioner. Bush handily kept his Commissioner position as he won with a victory margin by over 10 percent, defeating Democrat Miguel Suazo and Libertarian Matt Pina in the November 6, 2018, general election. Bush received 53.68% of the vote to Suazo's 43.19% vote total. Aside from governor Greg Abbott, he was the only statewide incumbent in Texas to win by double digits in 2018.
Bush assumed office on January 2, 2015.
Bush has also managed an ongoing $450-million remodel of the Alamo and surrounding plaza in San Antonio. In May 2015, as Texas land commissioner, Bush organized fundraising for future development of the San Antonio historic site, The Alamo. British singer Phil Collins donated various Alamo-related artifacts to the State of Texas with the stipulation that the State of Texas build a facility to hold the artifacts within a seven-year period. The Texas state legislature has agreed to a one-time infusion of $25 million to Bush's General Land Office to re-develop The Alamo site and the city of San Antonio has agreed to provide $1 million for the re-development.
In February 2016, the League of United Latin American Citizens Council No. 12 in Laredo, Texas, announced that Bush and José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, the head of the Mexican ministry of social development, would both receive the titles of "Señor Internacional," a designation used since 1976 to honor distinguished figures in the border region as part of the annual Washington's Birthday Celebration.
Bush dismissed some one hundred land commission employees hired under the preceding Commissioner Jerry Patterson. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Bush paid almost $1 million in taxpayer funds to encourage the dismissed personnel not to file suit against either him or the agency. He kept at least forty persons on the payroll for up to five months after terminating their employment; they agreed in writing not to sue.
In 2016, the office began a multi-year study on the flood effects of the Houston area and Texas coast.
Bush married a law school classmate, Amanda L. Williams (born 1979), on August 7, 2003, in Kennebunkport, Maine. Williams is a media law attorney at the firm Jackson Walker LLP in Fort Worth, Texas. The couple has two sons.
|Texas Land Commissioner Election, 2018|
|Republican||George P. Bush (Incumbent)||859,209||58.2|
|Texas Land Commissioner Republican Primary Election, 2014|
|Texas Land Commissioner Election, 2014|
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The premiere doubled as a fundraiser for the Alamo Endowment, an organization working with the Texas General Land Office to maintain and operate the Alamo complex. The state recently took over management of the Texas shrine after ending its longstanding partnership with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
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