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EXCLUSIVE: Post-Election Interview with George P. Bush, Transition Plans Announced

EXCLUSIVE: Post-Election Interview with George P. Bush, Transition Plans Announced

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AUSTIN, Texas — After winning his campaign for Texas Land Commissioner, George P. Bush gave a rousing victory speech to an enthusiastic crowd in the city of Austin. Speaking exclusively to Breitbart Texas in his first interview after his victory, George P. Bush said that he was “ecstatic” but “humbled” about the election and ready to get to work serving the people of Texas. Breitbart Texas is also the first to learn of Bush’s initial selections for his transition team.

“I said from the beginning that I wanted to run a different kind of campaign,” Bush told Breitbart Texas, proudly recalling how his grassroots campaign had “connected with every corner of this state.” Bush added that his campaign had “defied the expectations of a lot of experts,” who were initially skeptical of the first time candidate with the famous last name. To the contrary, Bush’s rigorous campaign schedule attracted notice, and his deep knowledge of the issues critical for the Land Commissioner’s office earned him respect. In their endorsement for Bush, the Houston Chronicle said that Bush had “proved himself one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful candidates of this election season…Bush speaks on the issues facing his office with the expertise of a man ready to serve.” The Chronicle also declared him the “real deal,” writing, “If anyone is tempted to dismiss George P. Bush as a political newcomer running on little more than an impressive name, please reconsider.”

Bush’s communication director JR Hernandez told Breitbart Texas that the entire campaign team took special pride in Bush winning not just such a strong endorsement from the Chronicle, but also the support of virtually every newspaper across the state. Hernandez emailed Breitbart Texas an overwhelming list of endorsements for Bush, including the Austin American-StatesmanDallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Antonio Express-News, El Paso Times, Beaumont Enterprise, Bryan-College Station Eagle, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Lubbock Avalanche Journal, Longview News Journal, and the Odessa American. “We really wanted to earn it, and that’s what we did,” Hernandez said about Bush’s hard work on the campaign trail.

Besides the endorsement streak, Bush set a number of other records. He is the first in the four generations of his political family to win his first attempt at elected office: Prescott Bush, his great-grandfather, lost a Senate race in 1950, grandfather George H.W. Bush lost a Senate race in Texas in 1964, father Jeb Bush took two tries to be elected Florida Governor, and uncle George W. Bush lost a 1978 Congressional campaign. Bush also came in first among statewide Texas candidates for state offices, both in terms of percentage and total votes earned. Bush won 2,821,359 votes to the 1,643,735 for his Democrat challenger, John Cook, a 60.65 percent to 35.33 percent victory, a margin of nearly twenty five points. The other Republican candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, etc. won their races by about twenty or twenty-one points. Bush also earned about 31,000 more total votes than Governor-elect Greg Abbott did in his race.

Bush’s father, Jeb Bush, was in Austin to cheer his victory, and posted a congratulatory message on his Facebook page. “Columba and I enjoyed such a special night in Austin celebrating George P. Bush’s great victory,” he wrote. “Thanks to everyone who supported George’s campaign. I know he will make you as proud of him as we are.”

Bush also told Breitbart Texas that the efforts of liberal groups like Battleground Texas were no match for the “facts of the Texas miracle,” and he was encouraged by the strong showing by Republican candidates across the state. He expressed a deep gratitude for the hard work by his campaign team, and singled out outgoing Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson for praise, saying that Patterson had worked extremely hard for the people of Texas and left a “great legacy” for him to follow. 

“I have high expectations for our more than six hundred full time employees [at the Land Commissioner’s office],” said Bush. He told Breitbart Texas that he expected that his biggest challenge as he takes office would be managing such a large government entity to work efficiently for the priorities of the office: building economic opportunities, protecting public education, serving the state’s veterans, disaster preparedness, and so on. Bush said that this would require “broad based leadership skills to bring people together” and expressed confidence that he was up to the task. He added that he had spent the past two years not only meeting with voters to hear their concerns and studying the laws and issues relevant to the Land Commissioner’s office, but also building relationships with Legislators and staffers to help him have a productive, successful 2015 Legislative Session. 

“We have some ambitious goals,” said Bush, “and I’m looking forward to working toward them.” Hernandez confirmed that Bush had begun discussing transition plans with his staff the day after the election, and, speaking exclusively to Breitbart Texas, shared that Bush had made the initial selections for who would head up his transition team: Anne Idsal, the former general counsel for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and Trey Newton, who had served as Senior Adviser for the campaign. According to Hernandez, both Isdal and Newton already have offices at the General Land Office (GLO).

Governor-elect Greg Abbott held a press conference on Wednesday to share his transition plans. Daniel Hodge, Abbbot’s First Assistant Attorney General and former Chief of Staff, will head his transition team. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick also released his initial transition plans on Thursday, naming his campaign manager and long-time Chief of Staff Logan Spence as the head of his transition team.

Watch George P. Bush’s election night victory speech here:

Photo credit: Jeb Bush, via Facebook.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker


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