The Bush political dynasty is on the march again.
In suburban Houston, Pierce Bush, grandson and nephew of presidents, jumped into the race Monday for an open seat where GOP Rep. Pete Olson is retiring — a race that has attracted more candidates than any other in the country.
Bush, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, is the grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush and son of Neil Bush, whose brother is former President George W. Bush of Dallas.
His first cousin, George P. Bush — son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — is the Texas land commissioner.
“The GOP establishment is bringing out the Bush family to try and keep” the seat in the GOP column,” Democrat Sri Kulkarni, who lost to Olson by a surprisingly close 5% last year, said in an email to supporters. “This race can’t be bought with corporate contributions, famous family names or high powered Rolodexes.”
By midday Monday, more than a dozen Republican candidates had filed for or floated the possibility of running for the seat in District 22.
Olson, R-Sugar Land, is one of a half-dozen Texas Republican incumbents who decided not to seek reelection, in what Democrats dub the “Texodus.”
Earlier this year, Pierce Bush floated the possibility of running in the 7th District — the one his grandfather won twice, in 1966 and 1968, before serving as CIA director, vice president and president.
Last year, Democratic Rep. Lizzie Pannill Fletcher ousted longtime GOP congressman John Culberson from that Houston seat. Republicans remain hopeful that they can dislodge Fletcher next year, but an open seat is generally a more attractive target.
That said, the Olson district has seen rapid population growth and demographic shifts since he won the seat in 2008. It was a solidly Republican district when former Republican whip Tom DeLay held it.