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IPFS News Link • Politics: Republican Campaigns

Texas primary is George P. Bush's biggest test yet in GOP


He'll secure the border. He'll support police. He didn't mention Donald Trump, but his campaign passed out leaflets showing him with the former president: the man who mocked Bush's father, shoved aside the Bushes as the GOP's standard-bearer and isn't endorsing him for Texas attorney general.

It's a heated race that, if Bush doesn't win, will take America's most enduring political family out of elected office for one of the few times in the last 50 years.

"It's distinguishing myself as opposed to just being known as a Bush," he said afterward. "And that's my challenge. That's on me."

Not long ago, winning wasn't hard for Bush, 45, who is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the nephew to one former president and the grandson of another. He was easily elected Texas' land commissioner in 2014 and regarded then as not only the future of the Bush family but maybe the GOP itself — young, Hispanic and cutting a broader appeal.

But the start of the 2022 midterm elections could bring a pause — or even an end — for the Bush family in politics unless he at least forces a runoff against Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, who despite a felony indictment and FBI investigation into accusations of corruption remains formidable in the Texas GOP.

The race — which will go to a May runoff if no one captures 50% of the vote — is the most contested and bruising in Texas' primary, and as far as an early glimpse of what's to come in races across the U.S., the takeaway is that Republicans aren't through rushing to the right. As early voting was underway, Paxton's office issued a legal opinion calling gender-confirming care for transgender kids child abuse.

Two of his other challengers, Rep. Louie Gohmert and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, would not outright say in a recent debate that President Joe Biden won the election — which Paxton tried overturning in a failed lawsuit. Bush does not dispute Biden's victory.