Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced Friday that he will be challenging current-Commissioner George P. Bush in an attempt to retake his old office.
“I’ve concluded that there are certain things that are more important than my retirement which I am enjoying immensely,” said Patterson. “I would prefer to be praising George P. Bush but I can’t do that.”
“I have been looking for a candidate for the last four months who would run against him without success,” he continued.
Patterson served as Texas’ Land Commissioner for three consecutive terms from 2003 to 2015 until deciding to run for lieutenant governor in the 2014 Texas Republican primary and losing that campaign to current Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
George P. Bush, the son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush and nephew of former Texas Gov. George W. Bush, was elected in that same election—taking the helm of the agency after only minimal primary opposition. Once elected, Bush largely flew under the radar until his father’s presidential campaign in which he was one of the campaign’s leading surrogates.
It was in that role that Bush put his foot in his mouth and rankled Texans by referring to his post as a “dogcatcher.”
“There’s no better experience than getting involved in a presidential race because you truly do absorb so much more information than, say, running for dog-catcher like I did in Texas,” Bush said to a group of his father’s supporters on a conference call, according to the Houston Chronicle.
After his father’s presidential campaign sputtered and died following the South Carolina primary, Bush has largely had an uneventful tenure in the General Land Office until recently, where his plans to “Reimagine the Alamo” have brought intense scrutiny from grassroots Texans concerned that their history and heritage could be under siege.
To help educate Texans on the process, Empower Texans Michael Quinn Sullivan interviewed Bush at the Alamo in November, but while some questions were answered a good deal were left unaddressed.
Patterson’s entry further complicates Bush’s re-election plans as at least two candidates—Decatur surveyor and businessman Davey Edwards and retired firefighter Rick Range are already in the race.