AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Pierce Bush, the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, announced his candidacy Monday for a congressional seat in Texas, becoming the latest member of his famous Republican family to enter politics.
But his first run for office won't be easy. Bush joins one of the nation's most crowded congressional races of 2020 in his bid to replace Republican Rep. Pete Olson, who is retiring from his suburban Houston district that Democrats nearly flipped last year and are aggressively targeting again.
Pierce Bush's announcement video, rolled out on the deadline in Texas for candidates to get on the 2020 ballot, includes an image of him speaking next to a picture of his late grandfather, who died last year.
“We face a very challenging time in our nation,” Bush says, adding that the country is “on the brink of losing a generation to an idea that socialism and free stuff are the answers to their future. But we all know that socialism has failed everywhere and everyone.”
His candidacy opens a new test for the Bush name in the Trump era. Other Republican candidates in the field have expressed unwavering support for President Donald Trump, who has clashed with the Bush family that for decades defined the GOP establishment. George H.W Bush voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and President George W. Bush didn't vote for either one of them.
Related: Vintage Bush family photos
Vintage Bush family photos
Vintage Bush family photos
George Herbert Walker Bush (R) poses with his wife Barbara and his brother Bucky in the 1940's. Born 12 June 1924 in Milton, Massachussetts, George Bush Yale graduated with a degree in Economics in 1948, made a fortune drilling oil before entering politics in 1964. US Congressman from Texas (1966-1970), ambassador to the United nations (1971-1974), Special Envoy to China (1974-1975), Republican National Chairman (1975-1976), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director (1976-1977), vice president of the US (1981-1959) George Bush is eventually elected president of the US 08 November 1988 against Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. AFP PHOTO/WHITE HOUSE (Photo credit should read /AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Navy pilot George Bush sits in the cockpit of his torpedo bomber 'Barbara III', named after his girlfriend and future wife Barara Pierce. Ca. 1943-1945. | Location: outdoors. (Photo by ï¿½ CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Navy Lieutenant George Bush and Barbara Pierce get married in the First Prsbyterian Church in Rye, New York on January 6, 1945. (Photo by ï¿½ CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
George H. W. Bush with his wife, Barbara, and their children Pauline and George W. on horse in the yard of their Midlands, Texas ranch. (Photo byï¿½Frances McLaughlin-Gill/Condï¿½Nast via Getty Images)
374942 02: (FILE PHOTO) An infant George W. Bush with his mother Barbara Bush and his father George Bush posing for a portrait in New Haven, CT, April 1947. George W. Bush is currently campaigning for the Republican party for the presidencial election in November 2000. (Photo by Newsmakers)
374942 01: (FILE PHOTO) Barbara Bush and George Bush pose with children Neil Bush, George W. Bush, Jeb Bush and Marvin Bush in 1956. George W. Bush is currently campaigning for the Republican party for the presidencial election in November 2000. (Photo by Newsmakers)
(Original Caption) George W. Bush and Laura's wedding; Marvin, Dorothy Neil, Columba, Jeb, Laura, G.W., Barbara, GB, Dorothy. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Sygma via Getty Images)
George Bush and his wife Barbara on the night of his 1966 election to the House of Representatives for Texas' 7th Congressional District in Houston. (Photo by ï¿½ CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
The George Bush family (l-r front row - Neil, Marvin, Jeb; back row - Doro, George W., Barbara, George) early 1960s (Photo by The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum/Handout/Corbis via Getty Images)
The George Bush family, Houston, TX (seated l-r Neil, George with Doro on his lap, Barbara with Marvin on her lap; standing George W. and Jeb) Late 1959 (Photo by The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum/Handout/Corbis via Getty Images)
373749 03: Republican Presidential candidate George Bush sits with his wife Barbara and his dog Fred November 1, 1978 in Hoston, TX. Bush is campaigning for the presidential primary elections. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/Liaison)
Campaign photo of the Bush family, the boys have their ties thrown over their shoulders (left to right: Doro, George, Jeb, Marvin, George W., Neil, and Barbara) 1966 (Photo by The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum/Handout/Corbis via Getty Images)
373818 01: Republican Presidential candidate George Bush wearing a t-shirt referencing his son Geroge W. Bush, walks with his wife Barbara and dog Fred November 1978 in New Hampshire. Bush is campaigning for the presidential primary elections. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/Liaison)
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The only Bush currently in public office, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, broke with his family in 2016 and supported Trump. During a visit to Texas earlier this year, Trump introduced George P. Bush, who is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, as “the only Bush that likes me.”
Pierce Bush, whose father is Neil Bush, has spent the past three years as chief executive of the nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters in Texas. He made no mention of Trump in his announcement video and launched his campaign website with only a short biography and no positions on issues or policies.
Olson is one of six of House Republicans in Texas retiring next year, and he might have faced a tougher re-election battled than any of them. Once a seat of GOP power — former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay held the office before Olson — the district is rapidly shifting amid demographic changes and Democrats peeling off suburban women voters.
Olson narrowly won his seat by fewer than 5 points in 2018. The district covers Fort Bend County, one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the nation. Last week, the county's white Republican state representative, Rick Miller, abruptly dropped his re-election bid after telling the Houston Chronicle that his primary challengers were motivated to run against him because of race, accusing one of determining "that my district might need an Asian to win.”