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George P. Bush, fourth generation of family, to run for public office

U.S. President George W. Bush (C) hugs his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), while Jeb's son George P. Bush (L) smiles after arrivi
U.S. President George W. Bush (C) hugs his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), while Jeb's son George P. Bush (L) smiles after arrivi

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - George P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, said on Tuesday he would run for the Republican nomination to be Texas Land Commissioner in 2014.

In a video posted on Facebook, Bush, 36, said he was running for statewide office because he wanted to focus on education, energy, and protection of natural resources.

"The Texas General Land Office touches all of the areas I just mentioned, energy policy, stewardship of our state, whether it is maintaining our coastline, natural resources, or managing the Alamo."

The Land Commissioner manages public lands, the state's beaches, and the Alamo, the San Antonio site of a battle between Texas settlers and the Mexican Army in 1836.

Bush, who manages an investment firm in Fort Worth, would be the fourth generation of the Bush family in politics. His uncle is former President George W. Bush and his great grandfather was Prescott Bush, a U.S. Senator from Connecticut from 1952 to 1963.

Mark Jones, a political analyst at Rice University in Houston, said Bush's decision was good for the Republican party.

"He has all the advantages of the Bush name and the access that it provides, and he also has the unique advantage of being Hispanic," Jones said. His mother, Columba Bush, was born in Mexico.

"He is the ideal person to help the Texas Republican party, which badly needs to reach out to Hispanic voters if it wants to maintain its majority in the state of Texas."

Texas was 38 percent Hispanic in the 2010 population census. Hispanics are expected to account for 50 percent of the state's population by 2040, which has prompted some Democrats to predict that the staunchly Republican state could switch sides.

Jones said he expects Bush to use the position, if he wins the election next year, to seek higher officer in the future.

George P. Bush has been active in politics his entire life. He addressed the Republican National Convention, which nominated his grandfather in 1988, at the age of 12.

He is active in several political action committees in Texas, which aim to recruit and fund Hispanic Republican candidates, and he is active in a foundation that aims to boost charter schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In his announcement video, Bush praised lessons he had learned from his grandmother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, and said, "I am constantly reminded that as Texans, we are exceptional people."

(Editing By Greg McCune)

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