George P. Bush

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George P. Bush
George P. Bush by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Bush at the Republican Leadership Conference in June 2011
28th Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
Assumed office
January 2, 2015
Governor Rick Perry
Greg Abbott
Preceded by Jerry E. Patterson
Personal details
Born George Prescott Bush
(1976-04-24) April 24, 1976 (age 40)
Houston, Texas, U.S.[1]
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Amanda L. Williams (m. 2004)
Relations See Bush family
Children Prescott
Jack
Parents Jeb Bush (father)
Columba Bush (mother)
Alma mater Rice University (B.A.)
University of Texas (J.D.)
Religion Roman Catholicism
Awards Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg Commendation Medal
Website Campaign Website
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 2007–present
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Lieutenant
Unit U.S. Navy Reserve
Battles/wars War in Afghanistan

George Prescott Bush (born April 24, 1976)[2] is an American attorney, U.S. Navy Reserve officer, real estate investor and politician who serves as the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office.[1]

A fourth-generation elected official as a member of the Bush family, he is the eldest child of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the nephew of former President George W. Bush, and the grandson of former President George H. W. Bush. Bush's middle name is taken from his great-grandfather, Senator Prescott Bush.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bush was born in Houston, Texas. Bush's mother, born Columba Garnica Gallo, is a naturalized citizen of the U.S. originally from Mexico.[3] Bush has two siblings: younger sister Noelle Lucila Bush, and younger brother, John Ellis Bush, Jr.[4]

Bush attended Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami and earned an undergraduate degree from Rice University in 1998 and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 2003.[1] 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.[5] Bush played quarterback for the Jones College intramural football team.[6] He was also featured in People Magazine's top 100 Bachelors in 2000.[7]

Career[edit]

In 1998, Bush became a public high school teacher in Homestead, Florida.[8] He later left this position to go to law school in Texas.[9]

After leaving law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Sidney A. Fitzwater.[10]

Bush managed St. Augustine Partners, an energy and technology-focused investment firm in Fort Worth, Texas.[11] Previously, he co-founded Pennybacker Capital, LLC, a real estate-focused private equity firm in Austin, Texas. The company was originally named N3 Capital and headquartered in Fort Worth.[12] 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.[13]

Bush was the national co-chair of Maverick PAC, a national political action committee dedicated to engaging the next generation of Republican voters.[14] 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.[15][16]

Bush was the Tarrant County chairman for Uplift Education—a Dallas-based public charter network focused on closing the achievement gap in inner-city public schools.[1]

Military service[edit]

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)[17] 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".[18][19] Bush served in Operation Enduring Freedom for eight months and returned to the United States in 2011.[1][20][21] During that deployment, he was given a different name for security purposes. Not even those he was serving alongside knew his real identity.[22]

Political activity[edit]

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 G. H. W. Bush's renomination. He campaigned for his uncle, George W. Bush, during the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns.[1] 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[23] 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.[7]

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...'"[24] Speaking specifically of his father's White House ambitions, he cites "Bush fatigue" as a discouraging factor.[25]

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.[26] In January 2010, he endorsed Marco Rubio, Crist's opponent for the United States Senate.[27]

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.[28]

As of 2012 he was the deputy finance chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.[29]

He was ranked one of "Newsmax's 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans" in 2016.[30]

Texas Land Commissioner[edit]

2014 election[edit]

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.[22] The same month, his father, Jeb Bush, emailed donors requesting that they support him in his 2014 bid for Texas Land Commissioner.[31][32]

In January 2013, Bush filed a campaign finance report stating he had received about $1.3 million in campaign contributions.[33] In March 2013, Bush filed to run for Texas Land Commissioner.[33][34] 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.[35]

As of June 2013, Bush had raised $3.3 million even though no Democratic candidate had emerged for land commissioner.[1] On November 19, 2013, he officially filed the papers to run for Texas land commissioner.[36]

Outgoing Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in the 2014 Republican primary.[37][38] 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).[37][39]

In the November 4 general election, Bush faced Democrat John Cook, a former mayor of El Paso.[40] Bush won 61% of the vote, riding a nationwide Republican wave in the midterms.[41] He is the only Bush to win his first election.[42] He received 49% of the Hispanic vote in his general election race.[43]

Tenure[edit]

Bush took office on January 2, 2015.[44]

In May 2015, as Texas land commissioner, Bush organized fundraising for future development of the San Antonio historic site, The Alamo.[45][46] 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.[45][46] 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.[46]

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 "Senor Internacional," a designation used since 1976 to honor distinguished figures in the border region as part of the annual Washington's Birthday Celebration.[47]

Questions have arisen about Bush's dismissal of some one hundred land commission employees hired under the preceding Commissioner Jerry Patterson. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Bush paid nearly $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 as long as five months after terminating their employment; they agreed in writing not to sue. Such agreements, while allowed in the corporate economy, are forbidden by the state of Texas, which has no severance pay.[48]

Personal life[edit]

Bush married a law school classmate, Amanda Williams (born 1979), on August 7, 2004, in Kennebunkport, Maine.[49][50] Williams is a media law attorney at the firm Jackson Walker LLP in Fort Worth, Texas.[31][51][52] The couple has two sons, Prescott (born June 3, 2013)[1] and John (born April 13, 2015).[53]

Electoral history[edit]

Texas Land Commissioner Republican Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Bush 937,987 73.00
Republican David Watts 346,949 27.00
Texas Land Commissioner Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George Bush 2,827,584 60.68
Democratic John Cook 1,645,828 35.32
Libertarian Justin Knight 126,422 2.71
Green Valerie Alessi 60,116 1.29

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Associated Press. George P. Bush starts small, shuns idea his name, Hispanic heritage can save GOP in Texas, Washington Post, July 20, 2013.
  2. ^ "Texas Births, 1926–1995". Familytreelegends.com. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  3. ^ Richard Brookhiser (1992), "A Visit with George Bush", The Atlantic Monthly 
  4. ^ Parker, Ashley (January 5, 2016). "Jeb Bush Drops Guard to Share Family Account of Addiction". New York Times. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  5. ^ Russell Contreras (August 11, 2000). "Gorgeous George". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved October 12, 2006. 
  6. ^ Thompson, Angie (January 6, 2007). "George P. Bush to speak for MLK Day". Tifton Gazette. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Dan Glaister (August 31, 2004). "He's young, good looking, and Hispanic – could he be the next George Bush in the White House?". London: The Guardian. Retrieved March 22, 2007. 
  8. ^ Guevara-Castro, Lillian (May 5, 1999). "Florida's First Lady: Columba Bush settles into life in the governor's mansion". Ocala Star-Banner. Ocala, Florida. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/e98/e2099.htm USA Today
  10. ^ [1] Archived July 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "George P. Bush, nephew of former president, reportedly makes campaign filing in Texas". Fox News. Associated Press. November 9, 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "N3 Capital Partners Becomes Pennybacker Capital". Reuters. August 18, 2008. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  13. ^ "NSRW to host George P. Bush at Bentwater". The Courier. October 12, 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  14. ^ Maverick PAC - Leadership
  15. ^ "George P Bush :: Hispanic Republicans of Texas". hispanicrepublicansoftx.org. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ "George P. Bush: New Kid on the Political Block". newsmax.com. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Officer Training Command, Home of Navy OCS - DCOIC". web.archive.org. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  18. ^ Curtis, Bryan. "A Bush Goes to War". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 26, 2009. 
  19. ^ Dykes, Brett Michael (October 27, 2009). "Bush family political heir is shipping off to war". Yahoo News. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  20. ^ George P. Bush (February 16, 2011). "'Gampy' inspired me to serve". USA Today. 
  21. ^ "George P. Bush to Address RLC 2011 « RLC 2011". rlc2011.com. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  22. ^ a b Dixon, Schuyler (November 9, 2012). "'Next Bush' makes campaign filing in Texas". Associated Press. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ Mark Stevenson (August 22, 2004). "Bush nephew faults policy at Mexican border". Orange County Register. Retrieved March 22, 2007. 
  24. ^ Bachelor Bush to Change His Ways Soon June 30, 2003, People (magazine).
  25. ^ Hudson Morgan (August 21, 2006). "Life Studies: The Heir Apparent". Men's Vogue. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 11, 2006. 
  26. ^ "Topic Galleries". OrlandoSentinel.com. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  27. ^ "Rubio nabs George P. Bush; Jeb still mum". The Hill. January 21, 2010. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  28. ^ Maverick PAC – George P. Bush
  29. ^ Weissert, Will (November 14, 2012). "Dad: George P. Bush eyeing Texas land commissioner". Associated Press. Retrieved November 14, 2012. 
  30. ^ Newsmax's 50 Most Influential Latino Republicans
  31. ^ a b Slater, Wayne (December 17, 2012). "Bushies with Karl Rove connections host George P. Bush DC fundraiser". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Jeb Bush to donors: Help my son". Politico. November 14, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b George P. Bush launches political career on Twitter, Houston Chronicle, March 12, 2013.
  34. ^ "George P. Bush Runs for Office in Texas". Wall Street Journal. March 12, 2013. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  35. ^ Satija, Neena (October 28, 2014). "All Eyes on Land Office if George P. Bush Wins". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  36. ^ "George P. Bush makes state candidacy official - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  37. ^ a b "Republican primary election returns". team1.sos.state.tx.us. Retrieved March 6, 2014. 
  38. ^ Ross Ramsey (July 19, 2011). "Patterson Confirms He'll Run for Lieutenant Governor". Texas Tribune. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 
  39. ^ "About Watts". wattsfortexas.org. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Ex-El Paso mayor John Cook runs for Texas Land Commissioner". KVIA. November 13, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  41. ^ "George P. Bush". The Texas Tribune. 
  42. ^ Stableford, Dylan (November 5, 2014). "Election 2014 firsts". Yahoo News. 
  43. ^ "George P. Bush Seizes Conservative Spotlight". The Associated Press. Dallas, Texas: CBS Radio Inc. February 5, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  44. ^ http://www.glo.texas.gov/ General Land Office of Texas
  45. ^ a b McCrimmon, Ryan (May 18, 2015). "George P. Bush Headlines Red Carpet Alamo Event". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 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. 
  46. ^ a b c Batheja, Aman (May 28, 2015). "Budget Deal Includes $25 Million Boost for Alamo". Texas Tribune. Austin, Texas. Retrieved May 28, 2015. 
  47. ^ "40th annual Senor Internacional announced". Laredo Morning Times. February 6, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  48. ^ Brian M. Rosenhtal, "Bush kept paying workers he fired", San Antonio Express-News, May 22, 2016, p. 1.
  49. ^ "In Maine, One Bush Wedding and A Fish Story". washingtonpost.com. August 8, 2004. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  50. ^ "Bush's daughter reels in a big fish". MSNBC.com. August 7, 2004. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  51. ^ "Media savvy Attorney Amanda Bush sharpens her focus on law – and on Fort Worth". fwbusinesspress.com. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  52. ^ "Jackson Walker LLP Profile". jw.com. March 24, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2009. 
  53. ^ Bradner, Eric (April 13, 2015). "Jeb Bush welcomes fourth grandchild". CNN. Retrieved April 13, 2015. 

External links[edit]