The swearing in of George P. Bush as the 28th Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office (GLO) marks the passing of the baton to a new generation of Bushes in American politics. Bush took the oath of office in the chambers of the Texas Senate on Friday. The ceremony was witnessed by his father, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett served as master of ceremonies for the event. He noted one major political difference between George P. Bush and his famous family of elected officials. Willett said he is “the only Bush to have won his first election.”
As noted above, Bush is the son of Florida’s former Governor Jeb Bush. He is also the nephew of former President George W. Bush and the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush. His great-grandfather Prescott Bush served as a United States Senator from Connecticut.
“Texas isn’t just some random place on the map that you can point your finger to,” Commissioner Bush said. “It’s an idea — that you’re not defined by race or by creed, but rather by what we believe in, … that people can go as far and as fast as their dreams can take them.” He also said that government should “work for us, not against us.”
Bush took the oath of office from Federal District Court Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater who was appointed to the bench by former President Ronald Reagan. Bush was joined on the Senate Dias by his wife Amanda Williams and his father, Gov. Bush.
The General Land Office manages the mineral rights on millions of acres of land owned by the State of Texas. Royalties from these mineral rights fund the state’s Permanent School Fund. The office is also now responsible for oversight of the Alamo. The Alamo was transferred to the GLO in 2011.
Bush pledged to provide better educational opportunities to the children of Texas. “We will innovate the way the Permanent School Fund provides resources to our public schools,” Bush stated.
He also made a firm commitment to preserving and protecting Texas’ most historic icon, the Alamo. “We will protect the hallowed grounds and story of the Alamo — a story bigger than Texas … a story about the triumph of freedom over tyranny,” he promised.
U.S. Representative Roger Williams participated in the ceremony by delivering the introductory remarks. The presentation of colors was performed by the Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines. Opening and closing prayers were delivered by the Reverend S.M. Wright, II. Wright is pastor of the People’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst were also in attendance.
Former GLO Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who held the office for three terms, told the Dallas Morning News he first visited with Bush about the office two years ago. He said they met for several hours. “He’s eager, he’s bright,” Patterson said about his successor.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.