Bush legacy lives on in George P., seen as heir to family's political mantle

He is telegenic, ambitious, eloquent – in both English and Spanish – and thinks fast on his feet. He has one of the most important political posts in Texas and is a rising star in the GOP.

No, the Bush family political dynasty is not over yet, even with Jeb Bush dropping out of the presidential race. The reason is George P. Bush, Jeb's son and the current land commissioner of Texas.

Al Cardenas, a longtime friend of the Bush family, said that George P., who is 39, has a bright political future.

“His journey will be easier," said Cardenas, who was a senior advisor on the Bush campaign and a nationally known conservative leader. "He got elected statewide, which is a big deal. His next step is to be U.S. senator or governor.”

Last weekend, many called Jeb Bush's withdrawal from the race after a poor showing in the South Carolina primary the end of the family political legacy.

But many Bush and political watchers said that was wrong because it didn't take into account the star power of George P.

"There’s George P., and also Jebby and Prescott, and all the grandchildren," said Alfonso Aguilar, who served in the George W. Bush administration and was part of the Jeb Bush campaign. "There are many Bushes – even Jeb Bush still has a lot to offer the country, he may serve in a future administration. He’ll continue to be involved in public life. He’s a good and honorable man – what a contrast with Donald Trump in how both of them ran their campaigns."

Jeb's son was only 12 when he led the 1988 Republican National Convention in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. His mother, Columba, is from Mexico and, like his dad, George P. speaks fluent Spanish. In 1992, he concluded a brief floor address at the GOP convention by screaming "Viva, Bush!"

He sprinkled Spanish into his speeches during the 2000 and 2004 Republican national conventions and campaigned for his uncle, George W., reaching out to Hispanic voters.

Cardenas said the Texas lawmaker was deeply excited about his father’s candidacy and campaigned enthusiastically for him.

But Bush dropped out of the race last weekend after he struggled to gain a footing in the race despite his huge war chest, a rich super PAC and, at least initially, the support of many party leaders to back him up.

“Jeb Bush had admittedly a difficult time of it, then it seemed he was regaining his footing,” said Cardenas. "His brother was president, his father was president. He was the first Bush to lose a presidential election."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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