NEW ORLEANS, LA - JUNE 18: George P. Bush speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference on June 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 2011 Republican Leadership Conference features keynote addresses from most of the major republican candidates for president as well as numerous republican leaders from across the country. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)2011 Getty Images
Watch out, Marco Rubio. There’s another young, handsome Republican Latino throwing his hat in the political ring. And he has the political pedigree to be a fast-rising GOP star.
George P. Bush, a nephew of former President George W. Bush and son of one-time Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, submitted paperwork indicating he may make a bid to run for state office, an official said Thursday night.
The younger Bush, a Fort Worth resident, filed a campaign treasurer appointment Wednesday, a requirement for someone to become a candidate under campaign finance law, Tim Sorrells, general counsel for the Texas Ethics Commission, told The Associated Press.
He's a big part of the Republican Party's future as they would envision it.
- Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas
Sorrells said the report does not specify what office Bush might seek, if any, and he had no other details on the filing, which wasn't available online. Bush did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment, and no phone listing for him could be found.
The 36-year-old, whose mother is a Mexican immigrant, said in September his goal was to run for office and acknowledged that he had his eyes on several statewide offices.
Political observers say he could infuse new enthusiasm among Latinos in the Republican Party because of his seemingly moderate tone on immigration and because he is a Mexican from Miami – which gives him a broad appeal among Mexicans, the largest Latino community in the country, and in a key state. Rubio, already a political star in the Republican Party, is Cuban-American.
"Clearly he is being groomed for great things in Texas and perhaps beyond," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this summer. "This is about his current visibility, his access to fundraising lists and his name recognition to people who will be on the other end of his fundraising calls."
Because of his well-known name – he shares a name with his uncle and grandfather, who both served as presidents – he also has wide support among white Republicans.
"He's a big part of the Republican Party's future as they would envision it," Jillson told the paper. "They know that Anglos are a shrinking share of the Texas population and the Texas electorate and Hispanics are an increasing share. ... They'll have to add Hispanic voters to the Republican side, and they hope he will be one of the people who help with that."
Raised in Florida, Bush decided to settle in Texas, home to his uncle and his grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush. He runs a consulting firm and has been active in Republican Party outreach to college students. He's also the co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas, a group that seeks to elect Hispanic candidates.
Ana Navarro, who was the national Hispanic co-chairwoman for John McCain when he ran for president in 2008, tweeted her enthusiasm Thursday.
"Wrote check for my friend, @georgepbush newly formed exploratory committee for office in TX. Young, pragmatic, Hispanic, just what GOP needs," Navarro's tweet read.
Bush and his wife, Amanda, met while attending law school at the University of Texas at Austin. After working as a lawyer, Bush became a partner in a real estate investment firm. He has started his second company, St. Augustine Partners, a business consulting firm aimed at small- and medium-market energy industries.
Bush also has Navy service on his resume, including a six-month deployment to Afghanistan, where, for security purposes, he was given a different name. Not even those he was serving alongside knew he was a Bush.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.