Family name means a lot in land commissioner race

02/06/2014 5:42 PM

02/06/2014 5:43 PM

In case you haven’t heard, George Bush wants to be your next Land Commissioner.

No, the former two-term president is not returning to the public sphere. But his nephew, Fort Worth resident George Prescott Bush, is seeking the statewide office soon to be vacated by Jerry Patterson.

Bush is one of two Republican primary candidates.

Being part of a political dynasty is a double-edged sword. Many will be skeptical of a fourth-generation politician whose name and fortune would be enough to carry him to victory.

Fortunately, Bush has talents and experience to recommend him to the position, which serves schools and veterans and manages billions of dollars of state assets, investments and mineral rights.

A former teacher, veteran and businessman, his diverse experiences seem to touch on each of the substantive responsibilities of the office.

His opponent, East Texas business consultant David Watts, offers a refreshing approach to the job that only a political outsider can provide.

An interview with the Star-Telegram Editorial Board revealed an articulate candidate with a vision for the office that would constrain it to its constitutional focus and work to maximize the productive potential of state-owned lands.

Watts views the office as one too important to be a steppingstone for the politically privileged, as it has often become and many believe is likely to be if Bush wins in November. This would be true if his opponent were a lay-about; Bush does not appear to be one of those.

An important component of reaching statewide office is taking one’s political message to as many voters as possible. Bush has the infrastructure, funding and political momentum to do this and to ensure a competitive race against the Democratic candidate, John Cook, in the general election.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends George P. Bush in the Republican primary for Land Commissioner.

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