(The Center Square) — George P. Bush announced that he is running for Texas attorney general, challenging incumbent Attorney General Ken Paxton in the 2022 Republican primary race.
Bush, the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and nephew to former President George W. Bush, announced his candidacy at an event in Austin on Wednesday night.
Bush is currently the commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, a position he ran for in 2014 and was reelected to in 2018 despite opposition in the Republican primary. In 2019 it was speculated that he would run for Lt. governor.
In an interview with KXAN News on Wednesday, Bush said, “We need an attorney general that’s focused on the job instead of trying to stay out of jail,” referring to a federal lawsuit Paxton has been embroiled in since 2016.
Bush said he discussed his candidacy with Gov. Greg Abbott, who said he is not endorsing either candidate.
As GLO commissioner, Bush was most recently sued for seizing private land from residents in the Galveston area. He also came under fire last month for not allocating Hurricane Harvey relief money to Houston and Harris County, which were most impacted by the 100-year flood event.
In 2019, he reportedly made many political enemies over his handling of the historic Texas landmark, The Alamo, which resulted in a settlement with the Daughters of the Republic. Disputes, consternation and confusion over his plans for the Alamo Cenotaph monument continued.
And in 2016, as newly elected GLO commissioner, Bush spent nearly $1 million of taxpayer money to ensure dozens of former staff under the previous commissioner would not sue him or the agency, according to the Houston Chronicle.
In response to Bush’s announcement, Paxton’s campaign issued a statement pointing to his record in office: “From defeating Joe Biden’s dangerous executive order halting deportations of illegal aliens, to his willingness to stand up for secure elections, Ken Paxton has been and will continue to be the tip of the spear in protecting President Trump’s America First principles.”
“Even Mr. Bush publicly acknowledges there is no more conservative fighter than Attorney General Ken Paxton,” his campaign added.
Paxton has sued the Biden administration or joined other states’ lawsuits at least 10 times in the first few months of 2021.