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Trump’s son endorses George P. Bush in reelection bid for Land Commissioner

February 6, 2018 GMT

AUSTIN — Donald Trump Jr. waded into the contested Texas Land Commissioner race Tuesday, backing Republican incumbent George P. Bush over his main challenger who was critical of Trump during the 2016 presidential contest.

“Elections are about choices,” Trump Jr. tweeted, adding that Bush endorsed and campaigned for Trump. “His opponent attacked Trump and urged him quit the race. Texas conservatives have a clear choice: Bush for Texas Land Commissioner.”

Bush touted the endorsement, saying in a statement he has worked “closely with the Trump administration to bring real conservative results to the people of Texas including our successful effort to stop the illegal Obama land grab.”

The primary for land commissioner is among the most competitive statewide races this cycle. The most formidable challenger is Jerry Patterson, who preceded Bush as land commissioner and jumped into the race alleging mismanagement of the Alamo redevelopment project.

Patterson had knocked Trump during his presidential bid and at one point urged the businessman to drop out of the race. Patterson said Tuesday, however, his feelings have changed.

Trump “has done a much better job than I expected,” said Patterson, whose son, Lt. Col. Travis Patterson, now pilots the helicopter used to fly the president.

The primary is March 6. Bush is leading the fundraising race, but Patterson says he expects to win in a run-off. Patterson raised just $18,000 in the last three weeks, compared to the $180,000 Bush reportedly brought in. Bush now has roughly $3 million in the back, according to his campaign. Two other Republicans are also in the race, Davey Edwards and Rick Range.

Bush, the nephew of former president George W. Bush and grandson of former president George H.W. Bush, wasn’t always on team Trump. At first, he campaigned for his father, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who Trump relentlessly mocked on the trail, often calling him “low energy.” After Bush dropped out of the presidential race, George P. Bush eventually backed Trump, breaking with his father.

Bush hasn’t asked President Trump for his endorsement and as of now, no members of the family are scheduled to campaign with Bush, the campaign said.

Allie Morris is a San Antonio Express-News staff writer. | amorris@express-news.net | @MorrisReports