George P. Bush is kicking off his campaign this week.
But the last member of the Bush political dynasty – which over four generations has produced two presidents, a vice president, a senator, two governors and a congressman – has not yet specified what position he is running for.
GEORGE P BUSH TELLS FOX NEWS HE TAKES A VERY SERIOUS LOOK AT ATTORNEY GENERAL
Bush, the two-term Texas land commissioner, is likely to announce on Wednesday that he is primarily challenging another statewide office holder and fellow Republican – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
In a tweet on Saturday, Bush said he “will NEVER stop fighting” for law enforcement.
The son of former two-term Florida governor and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush and the nephew of former President George W. Bush, who was twice elected governor of Texas, said he ‘he is “seriously considering” running for attorney general next year.
“We need new leadership in this high statewide executive role,” he told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade in early April. “I take a very serious look at the Attorney General.”
A veteran GOP strategist in the Lone Star State described the potential showdown as “the biggest battle to come in 2022 in Texas … It will be the toughest primary.”
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And texas–Republican-based consultant Matt Mackowiak told Fox News that “a Paxton-Bush statewide primary for Texas attorney general will be an exceptionally high profile midterm race in Texas.”
Mackowiak pointed out what people who follow Texas policy are well aware – that “Paxton deals with two specific legal issues, which Bush intends to reuse for him.”
Paxton is facing a securities fraud felony trial in a case that dates back six years and has swamped him throughout his tenure as attorney general. He denies any wrongdoing and said the charges were politically motivated.
But Paxton is also at the center of a separate FBI corruption investigation for allegedly abusing his office for the benefit of a wealthy donor.
Bush referred to the multiple allegations and legal issues swirling around Paxton.
“Serious allegations have been made against the current attorney general,” Bush said in an April interview with Dallas radio host Mark Davis. “Personally, I think the top law enforcement official in Texas has to be above reproach.”
But Paxton’s legal controversies are just one of two successful developments that will have a severe impact on this likely Attorney General’s primary showdown.
The other involves the pending endorsement in the race by former President Trump, who remains hugely popular among Republicans in Texas and across the country as he aims to play the kingmaker role in the primaries of the GOP 2022 as he flirts with a 2024 race to try and win back to the White House.
“It’s great speaking with President Trump to discuss the future of Texas and how we continue to fight to put America first. I appreciate the words of encouragement and support. Big things are coming soon! Bush teased in a tweet last week.
Trump has long been a vocal critic of Bush’s uncle and attacked, humiliated and crushed Bush’s father in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries. In return, George W. Bush and Jeb Bush have long criticized Trump, as have their parents, former President George HW Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush.
But young Bush has stayed away from his family’s verbal battles with Trump. After his father ended his candidacy for the GOP nomination in 2016, George P. Bush ended up supporting the man who savagely took his father as a “low energy Jeb.” He also approved President Trump’s re-election in 2020.
Bush’s strategy, according to Republican strategists in Texas who spoke to Fox News, is to try to prevent the former president from endorsing Paxon, who has long been linked to Trump. Paxton made headlines following President Biden’s victory over Trump in the November election as he led an unsuccessful legal effort to push the Supreme Court to overturn the election results.
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Since Biden took power in the White House, Paxton has been aggressive in challenging the new president’s policies in court.
Paxton tweeted last week: “The Biden administration has failed us too many times. I am using all my resources to prevent it from destroying our country.”
The day after Bush’s Trump tweet, the former president released a statement, first reported by CNN and confirmed by Fox News, saying, “I love them both very much. a not so distant future. “
Austin-based Mackowiak, who is also chairman of the Travis County GOP, stressed that “Trump’s approval in this race could be decisive.”
Conventional wisdom is that Trump endorses Paxton. But no one in Trump’s orbit or in Texas seems to be sure what the former president will do.
“There are so many moving parts. It’s hard to know what’s going on. It’s a board game,” a GOP strategist in Texas told Fox News.
The veteran strategist, who asked to remain anonymous to speak more freely, said Trump’s approval will matter, and if there are any indictments from the FBI, that will change everything. Everything else doesn’t matter. “
Mackowiak noted that “Paxton believes Bush is heading from his left and will promote his support for the Trump agenda and lead the fight against the actions of Biden’s executive.”
But what complicates Paxton’s strategy is the possibility of two lesser-known Conservative candidates running to the right of the attorney general.
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And Paxton, who has struggled with fundraising amid the twin surveys, could be short of Bush with the state’s first fundraising deadline in a matter of weeks.
And just to stir the pot a little more and add to the confusion, with a delay in the once-per-decade redistribution process, the 2022 filing deadline and the main date in Texas have yet to be determined.
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