George P. Bush Makes His First Bid for Office

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The Washington Post reports that George P. Bush—son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush—is running for Texas land commissioner in the 2014 election cycle:

George P. Bush, the eldest son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush and nephew of former president George W. Bush, is running for Texas land commissioner in 2014.

Bush had already announced that he intended to run for statewide office. The 36-year-old lawyer and Naval Reserve lawyer has been raising money across the state. But there was some speculation that he would challenge Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary.

The co-founder of the political action committee Hispanic Republicans of Texas, Bush is among those arguing that the GOP can reach out to Latino voters with new faces, not a new party doctrine.

Bush is probably wrong on the merits of Republican outreach—Americans aren't just unhappy with GOP messengers, they're unhappy with the message as well. With that said, Bush is likely to win his race, on account of name recognition and ample resources. Moreover, land commissioner is the state's oldest continuous office, and has been a launching pad for broader political careers—current Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst served in the position before ascending to his current post.

With the release of his book and his comments on immigration reform, conventional wisdom is that Jeb Bush is positioning himself for a run at the presidency in 2016. If it happens, I doubt he'll be successful—the Republican Party had hardly repudiated, much less acknowledged, the failures of George W. Bush, and the public remains disdainful of the former president.

The odds are better for George P. Bush. He's 36 years old and with roots in South America and Florida, representative of the country's demographic changes. If he can rise to the top of Texas politics, I have no doubt he'll be a viable presidential contender. Indeed, in just 18 years, he'll be as old as his uncle was when he ran for president, and on the cusp of an election year to boot.