A Bush family reunion of sorts took place at Ol’ South Pancake House on Tuesday morning.
George P. Bush, the Fort Worth Republican running to become Texas land commissioner, was met there by his father — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — who gave his son a hug and a smile. Then the elder Bush greeted supporters and posed for photos before hopping on the campaign bus for the day.
“It’s pretty emotional for me,” said Jeb Bush, who flew in from campaigning in Michigan. “He’s a grown-up son, but he’s running for office and doing a great job.
“Politics is kind of part of our family, and he’s been part of my campaigns — and his uncle’s and his grandfather’s campaigns.”
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George P. Bush, nephew of former President George W. Bush and grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, faces Democrat John Cook, Libertarian Justin Knight and Green Party candidate Valerie Alessi on the Nov. 4 ballot.
George P. Bush spoke to about 50 people when his campaign bus — New Leadership for All Texans — made a breakfast stop in Fort Worth.
“We’ve got to work hard to send a direct message to President Obama and also to Wendy Davis this election,” he said. “We really can’t take anything for granted in any election cycle.
“This is what it’s all about,” he said. “It starts right here in Tarrant County.”
Early voting starts Monday and runs through Oct. 31.
Bush said he embarked on the bus tour to meet voters and get the word out.
Cook campaigns from Ford F-150
The Democrat in the race, Cook, a former El Paso mayor, said he is also on the campaign trail.
“We do not have a bus, but we do have a Ford F-150 pickup truck,” he said. “We have driven 35,000 miles so far, and we will be out campaigning for the next 2 1/2 weeks.
“The message we’ve been spreading around the state — and we’ve been to 140 counties so far — is that voter turnout is important and everybody needs to exercise their vote,” he said. “The more of us that are out there trying to get people to participate in the process, the better for our country.”
Cook headed to Austin on Tuesday and planned to make stops in Houston and Conroe.
The land commissioner post has been held since 2003 by Jerry Patterson, a former state senator who lost his bid for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary.
The land commissioner oversees a variety of functions, including managing billions of dollars’ worth of state assets, investments and mineral rights. The commissioner also chairs the Texas Veterans Land Board and serves on state commissions and boards, including the School Land Board and the Coastal Coordination Advisory Committee.
‘A shot in the arm’
Jeb Bush, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has been traveling the country to help Republicans campaign, particularly those running for Senate.
George P. Bush said he was honored that his father could spend the day campaigning with him in Fort Worth, Abilene and Midland before flying out Tuesday night.
“He’s been an early supporter of mine,” George P. Bush said. “For him to take time during this general election … it’s a shot in the arm for my campaign.”
Jeb Bush said it was a big deal to help his son this way.
“I was thinking about calling up my dad and mom [former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush] when we are on the bus to give them an update on how the campaign is going,” he said with a grin. “They’ll be really interested in it.”
His first priority on the bus, though: getting a cup of coffee.