The Brief: Top Texas News for Nov. 19, 2012

George P. Bush
George P. Bush

The Big Conversation:

Does George P. Bush have his sights set on the Governor's Mansion?

It's all speculation at this point. After all, Bush's father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, last week sent a fundraising appeal to donors indicating that his son — who this month filed paperwork to run for statewide office in 2014 — would likely make a play for land commissioner.

But as the Tribune's Ross Ramsey writes today, if Bush aspires for a higher office than that, it wouldn't be without precedent: His uncle, George W. Bush, never held office before he was elected governor (notwithstanding a failed congressional bid in the 1970s).

Bush, a Fort Worth resident, would also have another factor working in his favor: his popularity as a rising Hispanic Republican star. A former GOP state House candidate in South Texas is even leading a push to draft Bush to run for governor in two years.

 

The Republican, Miriam Martinez, told the Rio Grande Guardian that the GOP would benefit from running a Hispanic candidate like Bush.

"I hope and believe George P. will seize the moment," Martinez said. "He would bring so much excitement to our ticket. Certainly, the impression we all got on his recent visit to the Valley is that he wants to run for governor. The expectation is there."

Martinez, who on Election Day lost to Democrat Bobby Guerra in House District 41, said she had talked to fellow South Texas Republicans about hosting a fundraiser for Bush.

What kind of competition Bush would face — from either Rick Perry or Greg Abbott, or both, or neither — remains unclear.

Still, even if the gubernatorial rumors prove false, Bush's political future looks bright, whether he runs for land commissioner or, as other rumors have indicated, attorney general.

Culled:

  • State Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, may be hoping to unseat Joe Straus as House speaker in January, but according to Straus, the fight is already over. "I enjoy the large majority of members of both parties," Straus told WFAA-TV over the weekend. Straus also told The Dallas Morning News' editorial board that the race wouldn't be close, and that he wasn't worried about Hughes' candidacy. "I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about my opposition," Straus said. "I’m accustomed to the fact today that certain interest groups have made a struggle over the speakership a 365-day-a-year industry. It doesn’t bother me, and members like the way we do business in the House."
  • The Morning News also reported over the weekend that Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst received campaign donations in 2007 from a Dallas businessman whose firms later received millions of dollars from the state-funded Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The revelation comes as the $3 billion cancer-fighting agency faces criticism over the role politics has played in how it awards grants. 
  • The Huffington Post has learned that the potential GOP alternative to the DREAM Act, details of which were leaked last week, was developed in part by Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The Daily Caller reported last week that the Republican plan, dubbed the ACHIEVE Act, was being "floated by some Senate Republicans." Hutchison began work on the effort over a year ago with fellow Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, who, like Hutchison, is retiring next year.

"I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama." — U.S. Sen.-elect Ted Cruz on Friday at a Federalist Society conference

Must-Read:

 

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