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White House Brief: Things to know about Jeb Bush

June 4, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination June 15, aides say. Here are some things to know about him.



Bush is the third in his family to seek the presidency, behind his brother and father, the nation’s two most recent Republican presidents.

Bush lost his first campaign for governor in 1994, but won in 1998 and was re-elected in 2002.

Bush has faced comparisons with his brother, George W. Bush and father, George H.W. Bush. But he’s has aggressively worked to define himself as unique from them. He attended the University of Texas (his father and brother went to Yale) and he’s bilingual.

Bush is also charting a new course in presidential campaigns by raising many millions of dollars for an unregulated super Political Action Committee fundraising group that is expected to run alongside his formal campaign and perform some of the same functions.



Bush, the only Republican to serve two full terms as Florida governor, started in business and later co-founded a south Florida real estate company. He often says while meeting voters that he “signed the front side of a paycheck,” as a way of setting himself apart from rivals who lack private-sector management experience. The 62-year-old moved to Florida after stints as a bank employee in Texas and bank manager in Venezuela. Before that, the second-oldest of four Bush sons earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies.



Bush was born in Texas, a scion in a Republican dynasty, traveled a different course to his candidacy, by working in banking, including a stint in Venezuela, and in real estate in Miami before politics.

Following his brother and father to Phillips Academy, an exclusive university prep school in Massachusetts, Bush admits to having little direction early on, receiving poor grades until late in high school and occasionally smoking marijuana. He went on to graduate from Texas with honors.

Today the father of three and grandfather of four talks about his life in two phases, before and after meeting his wife, Mexican-born Columba.

Hardly aloof in a crowd, Bush jokes about his well-known family. At a Michigan Republican dinner in Lansing, referring to people who keep asking him about his brother, he cracked: “Marvin is doing great.” Marvin is one of his two younger brothers.



Bush’s family, and literally his father, put Jeb Bush on the national stage as a young man when George H. W. Bush was vice president and then ran for president. But Jeb would cut his own national profile as Florida governor, first overseeing the recount of the Florida vote after the 2000 presidential election when his brother George W. Bush was the Republican nominee and affirmed the winner by the Supreme Court. Later, Bush opposed the wishes of the husband of Terri Schiavo, a Florida woman whose 1990 heart attack had left her in a vegetative state. Schiavo’s husband wanted her nutrition tubes removed, as a way of ending her life support. After they were removed, Bush ordered them reconnected but was overruled by a federal court.



Bush has co-authored two books, most notably “Immigration Wars,” which he and former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Clint Bolick published in 2013. The book outlines what has become a central piece of Bush’s emerging campaign, the plan that would allow millions of people in the U.S. illegally to stay, and the reasoning behind it. In 1996, Bush also co-authored with confidant Brian Yablonski “Profiles in Character,” which details the social and economic consequences of a breakdown in cultural institutions such as marriage and families.



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