George P. Bush told state election officials Tuesday he will run for land commissioner in 2014. He had previously filed papers required for anyone raising campaign funds in the state, but hadn’t officially specified what office he might seek.
In an interview with the Tribune, he had said he was leaning toward the General Land Office but had not made a decision. Since then, he has been the subject of speculation in political conversations about other 2014 races.
The current land commissioner, Jerry Patterson, plans to run for lieutenant governor in 2014, which would leave his office open to all comers. He talked to Bush on Tuesday and said the announcement lets the new candidate focus on what he’s doing instead of on speculation. “If your name is Bush, its hard to control the message,” Patterson said.
Bush has been making some public appearances but has concentrated on raising money during the legislative session. That’s an outsider’s advantage: State officeholders are prohibited from raising political money during legislative sessions. Private citizens like Bush can use that time to try to get a head start before next year’s March primaries.