George P. Bush: GOP campaign decision before end of May

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on February 15, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 15 at 11:44 PM

ADDISON -- The next in line for the Bush family political dynasty said he's close to deciding on what state-wide office he'll run for, and the decision will come by the end of May.

Fort Worth resident George P. Bush, son of the former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, grandson to the 41st president, and nephew to the 43rd, is slowing raising his public profile in the meantime.

Before an audience of conservatives at a Institute for Policy Innovation luncheon in Addison Friday, Bush gave another strong indication he'll run in the Republican primary next March for Texas Land Commissioner.

In his prepared remarks, he said, "I come from an entrepreneurial background both in law and asset management. As was mentioned, I was a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. I'd be the only veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom running statewide."

Bush hit all the right notes for running the General Land Office, which manages state property, such as coastal beaches and also the Veterans Land Board.

But there's some speculation he'll run for attorney general, comptroller or even governor.

Either way, he said he'll decide by May when the regular legislative session ends.

"It's a large state," he said. "We have to visit with a lot of key constituency groups before making our announcement, but we're getting close."

Bush, who's mother was born and raised in Mexico, said the GOP doesn't have to sell out its principles to attract more Hispanic voters.

As Republicans view him as a very attractive candidate, he's not without critics.

Democratic columnist Jim Moore called him "a small W," in reference to Bush's famous presidential uncle. Veteran Texas political reporter Paul Burka at Texas Monthly wrote Bush doesn't look serious, saying he hasn't made up his mind.

Bush said he's aware of the comments.

"I hear that criticism, but for us and for our team, we think the right strategy is to be patient," he said.

After quickly raising more than a $1.3 million, Bush believes has the money and time to wait.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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