FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — George P. Bush took the first
step toward continuing his family's political dynasty Tuesday, shaking
off an under-funded primary challenger and securing the Republican
nomination for the little-known but powerful post of Texas land
The 37-year-old Fort Worth attorney is the grandson
of former President George H.W. Bush, nephew of former President and
Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and son of ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is
frequently mentioned as a possible GOP White House hopeful in 2016.
also a Spanish speaker whose mother Columba was born in Mexico and who
Republican leaders statewide long have toasted as key to wooing voters
among Texas' booming Hispanic population.
"We don't have to change
our conservative principles to win, we just need to change our
tactics," said Bush, who spoke English and Spanish to the crowd at his
victory party at a Fort Worth Mexican restaurant. His mother was among
He noted that his campaign traveled to numerous
heavily Hispanic areas, including making several trips to the
"You'll see that we have tea party friends,
that we have mainstream conservatives, we have strong Latino support and
a lot of younger voters," he said.
There was no incumbent running
and Bush used his American political-royalty surname to raise more than
$3.5 million while his opponent, East Texas businessman David Watts,
could barely afford to travel the state.
Bush immediately becomes the overwhelming favorite in November against Democratic nominee and former El Paso Mayor John Cook.
Antonio-based oilman Douglas Cain, who attended the Bush victory party,
called the latest George Bush "a very humble, straightforward guy."
Not everyone is convinced, though.
his vote Tuesday in Dallas, Richard Lohr, a 76-year-old roofing
contractor, said he was a longtime supporter of both President Bushes —
but was worried about anointing a "family hierarchy" in office.
land commissioner administers Texas' vast, state-owned lands and
mineral resources, and it's a job that can be a stepping stone to higher
office. David Dewhurst was land commissioner before becoming lieutenant
governor in 2003.
Bush taught school in inner-city Miami before
earning a law degree from the University of Texas and clerking for a
federal judge. In 2010, he served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan
with U.S. Naval Intelligence under an assumed name.