George P. Bush candidate for Attorney General of Texas
AUSTIN, Texas – George P. Bush on Wednesday kicked off his next political move: a race for Texas attorney general in 2022 that pits the offshoot of a Republican dynasty against a GOP holder shadowed by securities fraud charges and an FBI investigation.
Bush, who has served as Texas Land Commissioner since 2015, is the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the nephew and grandson of two former presidents. He is the last of the Bush family still in office – and was the first to break up with them for supporting former President Donald Trump, who poked fun at the family that was once the face of the Republican Party.
He is now taking the first major challenge against ailing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who spent six years in office on a felony indictment of defrauding investors, and more recently was accused of corruption by his own former main collaborators.
“Here in Texas we have a scandal that plagues one of our top offices. And I think the Conservatives should have a choice,” Bush said at a campaign launch rally in Austin.
Bush, 45, said he spoke with the two Texas attorneys general who preceded Paxton – Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and US Senator John Cornyn – after the latest charges surfaced, but will not go into details . “There is worry out there, and that’s why I’m ready to go out there and give myself up because everyone has been quiet and afraid to tell the truth about this guy,” Bush said.
Paxton’s campaign responded with a statement that made no mention of the charges against him.
“Texans know about Attorney General Paxton’s rock-solid Tory record,” Paxton spokesman Ian Prior said.
Bush’s attempt to climb the political ladder in Texas sets up a potentially deadly primary that will test the appetite of GOP voters for the Bush name, and the sustainability of a two-term attorney general who is involved in legal issues but was adopted by the Conservatives last November. after filing an unsuccessful Supreme Court lawsuit seeking to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.
When asked if he supports Paxton’s efforts to undo Biden’s victory, Bush criticized Paxton’s legal strategy and said there were irregularities, but acknowledged Biden’s victory. No widespread corruption was found, and Trump’s claims of massive electoral fraud were also dismissed by a succession of judges and refuted by state election officials.
Trump on Tuesday backed Abbott for a third term but did not weigh in on the Texas attorney general race, in which Bush had signaled for months he would participate.
Hours before Bush’s announcement, Paxton’s office released a court file that denies allegations of impropriety made by high-profile MPs who were made redundant after participating in an extraordinary revolt against Paxton last fall. Eight staff members accused Paxton of abusing his office in the service of a wealthy donor, who is now the target of an FBI investigation.
Paxton called the charges an “unfounded smear campaign” and pleaded not guilty separately in his securities fraud case, which has been dragging on since 2015. He has also used his office in a variety of ways. which benefited the allies and other donors.
Bush, meanwhile, enters the race at a time of bipartisan scrutiny and outrage in Houston over his general land office. announcing that the city would not get a cent of the first billion dollars in federal funding which was promised in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. He also angered conservative activists over a plan to renovate Alamo, Texas’s revered sanctuary.
The race is crucial to Bush’s political future in Texas, where he aligned himself with Trump unlike his famous parents. Bush carefully avoided Trump’s antagonism towards his family, which included taunting his father as “low energy” during the 2016 presidential campaign. His late grandfather, George HW Bush, had said he had voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, while George W. Bush said he had voted for “none of the above.”
During a visit to Texas in 2019, Trump called George P. Bush “the only Bush who loves me.”