George P. Bush, the 36-year-old son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush and his wife, Mexican-American Columba Bush, will be the new deputy finance chairman of the Texas Republican Party. The young Bush has been increasing his involvement in politics for some time now, and is closely being touted as a Latino Republican who is quickly becoming one of the more high-profile young faces of the GOP.
The third generation Bush, who studied law and has been involved in finance as well as non-profits, co-founded the Hispanic Republicans of Texas, as well as the Maverick Political Action Committee. In the home page of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas, the young Bush says on camera, “We Hispanics represent 37 percent of the population of Texas -with numbers comes a lot of power.”
Joshua Treviño, a Republican policy analyst and recently named writer-at-large for Texas Monthly, says George P. Bush is poised to take on a bigger political role, if he so wishes, at a time of change in Texas politics.
“In South Texas especially, I think there are increasing numbers of the conservative Democratic base which are slowly changing to the Republican party,” argues Treviño. ”Many of these Latinos feel culturally abandoned by the Democrats, like representative Aaron Peña, a pro-gun, pro-life former Democrat,” adds Treviño. He also says the Texas Republican party’s recent inclusion of a guest worker program as part of their political platform shows a more welcoming attitude toward Latinos than the Republican national party.
Gilbert Cantú, a third-generation Mexican-American business owner recently featured in a Mitt Romney campaign ad, echoed similar sentiments. ”Everyone is jumping on the Obama bandwagon, but for me and other business owners I talk to, it’s not the bandwagon to be on,” he says.
While Texas might not have large numbers of Latino registered Republicans, it seems to be generating more high-profile Lone Star Latino Republicans. Ted Cruz, the conservative, Tea Party Cuban-American candidate who recently won a runoff election, is now poised to win a Senate seat in November, and is being compared to Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Cruz’ victory is credited in large part to the support of many high-profile organizations, including George P. Bush’s political PAC.
George P. Bush could not be reached for comment today since he is on reserve duty; he served in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the Navy reserve. He did give a written comment to the Fort Worth Star Telegram about his new role as deputy finance chairman for the Texas Republican party.
“I am excited about this opportunity to help the Republican Party here in Texas,” he said. ”We have excellent candidates running for office who, once elected, will continue the tradition of making Texas the greatest State in the Union,” Bush added.
George P. Bush has been in the public eye since he was a 12-year-old who introduced his grandfather, President George H. W. Bush, at the 1988 Republican National Convention. Now, over two decades later, George P. Bush will be a prominent young Republican at the convention in Tampa later this month.
Arizona State political scientist Rodolfo Espino says the Latino Bush’s higher political profile is good for the Republican party.
“It’s a wise strategy to put a face to a party that has done a lot of harm to itself in terms of legislation and rhetoric which has pushed Latinos away from the party,” says Espino.