The suspense is over. George P. Bush has decided on the office he is going to run for: land commissioner. It’s a good choice, an office that is hard to screw up and offers the chance to do some good for veterans, for school children, and for the environment. Bush would inherit a very good permanent staff that Patterson has assembled. No doubt he has his eye on bigger things, a drama that will play out over the next couple of election cycles. He will surely have ample resources as he ponders his future.
It seems unlikely that he will be challenged, either in the primary or the general election. Still, I would not be surprised if the Democrats decided to take a shot at him, if they can find a respectable challenger. It is too early to speculate whether Bush will be able to reverse the Republicans’ problems with Latinos. He will surely try. The good thing about being land commissioner is that it is easy to build a record from which you can jump to the next level. The bad about being land commissioner is that the job doesn’t prepare you for the next level. In any case, the Bush name has returned to Texas politics, and it will be a factor in the second half of the decade.