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George P. Bush wins Republican primary race for Texas land commissioner

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors ... Bush said the obligations to report financial real estate interests do not apply to the kind of trust the house is kept under. He also said it was necessary to conceal his home address because he has received ...

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With nearly 58 percent of the vote, Bush will avoid a runoff against former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the four-candidate GOP field and will face Democrat Miguel Suazo in November. by Claire Allbright March 6, 2018 Updated: 10 PM   Texas Land Commissioner George PBush speaks to the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Urban Affairs hearing on Hurricane Harvey in Houston on Monday, October 2, 2017. Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Sign up for The Brief to get the latest 2018 Texas election news in your inbox. Click here for full primary election results.  More in this series  Land Commissioner George PBush won the GOP primary Tuesday and avoided a runoff against his predecessor. With most of the votes tallied statewide, Bush won nearly 58 percent of the voteFormer Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson was in second place with 30 percent of the vote in the four-person race that included land surveyor Davey Edwards and retired firefighter and teacher Rick Range. Bush thanked his supporters on Twitter: "Texas voters — THANK YOU! Your steadfast support through this primary is what has made tonight's victory possible!" Bush, a first-term incumbent, raised more than $1.5 million in the year before the election, while Patterson raised $107,588, including a $20,000 loan to himself. The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsorsBecome one. The grandson of former President George HWBush and son of former Florida GovJeb Bush maintained a relatively low profile during the campaign, emphasizing his conservative values while his opponents criticized him for being a moderate. Loading... His opponents focused mainly on one issue: Bush’s management of the AlamoPatterson, Edwards and Range have claimed Bush’s $450 million Alamo Master Plan, which includes renovating the site, would distract visitors from remembering the 1836 battle for Texas independence. A spokesperson for the land office said the most important part of the plan, which was once branded as “reimagining” the Alamo, is preserving the historic mission. “All that 'reimagine' was actually talking about is that someday you will actually be able to see all of [the battlefield] and connect with 1836 better than you currently can,” said Bryan Preston, director of communications for the GLO. Since Bush took office, he has also restructured how his agency manages day-to-day operations of the Alamo through a system of nonprofit organizations that contract with the stateHis primary challengers say this management system is not transparent and hides how state money is being spent   Last month, several news organizations obtained a copy of an internal draft audit that criticized how the land office used these nonprofits to manage the AlamoBush claimed the audit was “doctored” and said it’s the subject of an investigationHe defended the system, saying that every monument uses nonprofit organizations to help with fundraising efforts. The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsorsBecome one. That was just one of several controversies that battered Bush’s campaign last month. The Tribune reported that Bush’s West Austin mansion was financed by a major Republican donor’s bankThe 4,000-square-foot home was legally put under the name of a family trust and wasn't disclosed in Bush’s personal financial statements. Bush said the obligations to report financial real estate interests do not apply to the kind of trust the house is kept underHe also said it was necessary to conceal his home address because he has received death threats. The Tribune also reported that the land office contracted with Horne LLP, an Austin-based accounting firm that specializes in providing disaster recovery services to governments, in October after Hurricane Harvey; three days later, Bush received a $27,500 donation from Horne executives. While no laws prohibit employees of state contractors from making financial donations, some have perceived this gift as a thank youAsh Wright, a political director for Bush, said trying to say the contracts were connected to political donations is “fake news.” President Donald Trump endorsed Bush through Twitter last week. “Texas LC George PBush backed me when it wasn’t the politically correct thing to do, and I back him now,” Trump tweeted. Bush will face energy and natural resources attorney Miguel Suazo, who won Tuesday's Democratic primary with nearly 70 percent of the vote. The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsorsBecome one. "I'm the Democrat running to beat George PBush because it's time for leaders who are qualified to do the job — and it's time to end political dynasties in Texas," Suazo said in a written statement.  Disclosure: Jerry Patterson and the General Land Office have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsorsFinancial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalismFind a complete list of them here. Read related Tribune coverage: Land Commissioner George PBush’s primary opponents are making their last stand at the Alamo George PBush’s secret mansion is financed by an undisclosed loan from Texas donor's bank Land commissioner says "doctored" audit critical of his agency's management of the Alamo is under investigation Get The Brief Never miss a moment in Texas politics with our daily newsletter. 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