George P. Bush has more than $2.8 million to spend on his campaign for Texas Land Commissioner. His two main challengers, a Republican and a Democrat, have a combined total of around $20,000.
Democrat John Cook, former Mayor of El Paso, reports raising about $13,000 since June. Republican David Watts's campaign finance filing this week indicates fundraising in the second half of 2013 of about $7,000.
Dr. Brian Smith is a professor of political science at St. Edward’s University in Austin. He says what the Bush campaign is doing is a tried and true intimidation tactic.
“He’s over-raising money to scare off any potential Republican challenger,” Smith says. “If I’m a Democrat I would be, like, wow, I have to raise $3.3 million just to match him. That’s going to scare me away. If I’m a Republican, I’m going to be like, gosh, he’s got a lot of money. Let him have it.”