The Brief: Top Texas News for Nov. 15, 2012

George P. Bush
George P. Bush

The Big Conversation:

With speculation about 2014 heating up, the spotlight in Texas has turned squarely to George P. Bush.

As the Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday, Bush's father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, sent out a fundraising appeal to donors this week asking them to support his son's potential run for Texas land commissioner in 2014.

"While the election is in 2014, it is important to show early financial support, particularly in a state as big as Texas," the elder Bush wrote. "The office that George is considering running for is Land Commissioner which overseas the mineral rights, commercial real estate owned and sovereign submerged lands of the State of Texas as well as veterans affairs and historic archives."

George P. Bush, a rising Hispanic Republican star and deputy finance chairman of the Texas Republican Party, has long been rumored as a statewide political candidate. A run for land commissioner would set him up to potentially succeed Jerry Patterson, who's running for lieutenant governor in 2014. 

But Bush's campaign, which has already launched a website, later clarified on Wednesday that he hasn't settled on which statewide office to seek.

"As Gov. Bush stated, George P. is considering running for Texas Land Commissioner, however no firm decision has been made," Trey Newton, a spokesman for Bush's campaign, said in a statement. "We have said from day one that George P. is looking where he can best serve the State and people of Texas which includes considering Texas Land Commissioner as well as Attorney General, Texas Comptroller and other Statewide positions."

Which office Bush seeks may ultimately hinge on Gov. Rick Perry's plans. As The Associated Press notes, if Perry decides not to run for re-election, Attorney General Greg Abbott will likely run for governor, creating an opening for Bush to run for AG. If Perry stays put, though, Bush may settle on land commissioner after all.

Culled:

  • U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Tyler Republican known for courting controversy, on Wednesday nominated Newt Gingrich as House speaker. According to The Huffington Post, Gohmert, a conservative firebrand, stood up during a closed-door meeting to declare his support for Gingrich while the House was voting to re-elect U.S. Rep. John Boehner as speaker. (As Politico notes, it was unclear is he was joking.) Gohmert's office didn't respond to a request for comment.
  • Texas leaders will meet today to set a spending limit for the next two-year state budget. As the Austin American-Statesman reports, however, the limit itself has come under fire from Republicans, including Gov. Rick Perry, for failing to do its job. And with the state having found unexpected revenue in recent months, efforts to tighten the limit have picked up steam.
  • U.S. Rep. Ron Paul delivered his farewell speech from the House floor on Wednesday. In true Paul fashion, the 48-minute speech included references to liberty, war, gold and raw milk. "I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out the plain truth of things," he said. "The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people worldwide, is to pursue the cause of liberty."

"Louie, I love you, too." — John Boehner during his acceptance speech Wednesday after being re-elected as House speaker, during which Louie Gohmert nominated Newt Gingrich

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