Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who is weighing a challenge against incumbent state Attorney General Ken Paxton, says he’s been discussing his options with former President Donald Trump, an often-vocal critic of other members of the Bush political family including his own father, one-time Trump rival Jeb Bush.
“We talked about the importance of putting the right team on (the) field, because the Democrats are targeting our state,” Bush said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News. “We talked about my race and the vision that I have for the state of Texas.”
Bush also tweeted a photograph Monday showing himself talking on a cellphone. He wrote on the post that it was “great to speak with President Trump to discuss the future of Texas and how we are keeping up the fight to put America first. I appreciate the words of encouragement and support. Big things coming soon!”
Bush is planning a campaign kickoff rally on June 2 and told the newspaper he has a “big announcement” to make, but he hasn’t yet specified which office he’s seeking. He told the newspaper that he is waiting for lawmakers in the state to wrap up the current legislative session before he launches a campaign.
He may run for reelection as land commissioner, but Bush has been making several comments concerning a potential race against Paxton, who is now under federal investigation for charges of bribery and abuse of office.
However, part of a fight for attorney general may involve a fight for a Trump endorsement, as Paxton, a staunch supporter of the former president’s, has remained a close ally who has filed several Trump-friendly lawsuits to challenge the 2020 election, to fight back against the Biden administration on immigration, and to seek action against the current president’s order to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Paxton also spoke during Trump’s Jan. 6 rally in Washington, D.C., shortly before the attacks at the U.S. Capitol and in February, he tweeted a photo of himself and Trump playing golf at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Paxton last week told a Dallas radio show that Bush wants to use the attorney general’s office in a step toward following in the footsteps of his father Jeb, his uncle George W. Bush, and his grandfather, George H.W. Bush, to seek the White House.
“He’s kind of got this mentality that he’s going to be president someday and he’s got to get started,” Paxton told talk show host Mark Davis. “I know for a fact that he’s told people that he was either going to run for governor, lieutenant governor, or against me.”
Paxton also claimed Bush decided to run against him and not Gov. Greg Abbott or Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, also Republicans, because they have too much campaign cash for him to challenge them.
Bush told The Dallas Morning News that Trump will “keep an eye” on the attorney general race, because “he’s keeping an eye on all these races.”
“Similar to my uncle, he’s a caged political beast watching all the different races,” Bush said about Trump.
The land commissioner also said Trump asked him about the congressional race in Texas’ Sixth Congressional District to fill the unexpired term of late Rep. Ron Wright, who died after contracting COVID-19 earlier this year.
Trump has endorsed Wright’s widow, Susan, in her runoff against GOP state Rep. Jake Ellzey.
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