Governor Profile- Texas

Pick any Texas Governor other than Greg Abbott.

George Walker Bush

  1. Name the political party this governor represented.

George W. Bush became the 46th Governor of Texas on a Republican Party. He served from 1995 until 2000 when he was elected the President of the United States.


  1. List any governmental positions held prior to becoming governor
  2. Name the dates the positions were held

Before becoming the Governor of Texas, George W. Bush initially served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard. He later worked for an oil and gas company in Midland from 1975 to 1986. Bush was also vital in his father’s George Bush Senior Presidential campaigns in 1988. After the end of the campaigns in 1989, Bush collaborated with several friends and purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise that was responsible for the construction of the Ballpark in Arlington. He acted as the managing general partner of the organization until his election as Governor in 1995.

  1. Personal information
    a. Date of Birth, Death (if deceased)
    b. Birthplace

George W. Bush is a son to the former U.S. President George Hebert Walker Bush. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut on July 6, 1946.

  1. Education
    i. Include only degrees and schools attended after high school

George W. Bush attended Yale University for his Bachelors and Harvard Business School for his MBA.

Gubernatorial Elections or assuming of office
a. Indicate how he came into office (won election, assumed governorship upon death or resignation of…)
b. For each of his gubernatorial elections, include the following
i. Year of the election
ii. The number of votes for both the person you have chosen and any of his opponents

Texas State held its gubernatorial elections on November 8, 1994 that cited the incumbent Ann Richards against George W. Bush. Bush garnered 2, 350,994 votes to defeat Richards who only managed 2, 016,928 votes. Interestingly, Ann Richards held a high approval rating one year to the election mainly because of the strong economy. However, Bush’s campaign strategy helped turn things around. Most political analysts in Texas attribute Bush’s gubernatorial win in 1994 to his strict stance on crime, drugs, and significant tax cuts among other policies. Still, Bush advocated for increased state spending on bilingual programs and education that helped win many Hispanics and traditionally Democratic voters. In 1998, Bush sought re-election and won with a total 2,550,821 votes against Garry Mauro’s 1,165,592 votes.

  1. Indicate for many years this person served as governor.

In total, George W. Bush served as the Governor of Texas for six years from 1995 to 2000 when he resigned to become the 43rd President of the United States

  1. What part of the Texas Constitution (article and section) discusses how the governor is elected?

The Texas constitution consists of several clauses that direct the election of a governor into office. Precisely, Article 4, Section 1 indicates that the executive department of the Texas State government must comprise the Governor who is the Chief Executive Officer of the State, a Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Commissioner of the General Land Office, and Attorney General. In section 2 of the same article, the Texas voters should elect all the officers in Section 1 except the Secretary of State.

  1. Vetoes
    a. Write a one-paragraph summary on a particular bill that your governor vetoed.
    i. What was the bill about?
    ii. Why did the governor veto it? 

Governor Bush vetoed several bills while in office. One of such bills is the SB 414 that comprised a recodification of the guidelines to physicians, out-of-hospital DNR orders, and the attorney’s power on healthcare. Bush vetoed this bill because it would have impacted the probate/estate planning/trust area.

  1. What part of the Texas Constitution (article and section) discusses the gubernatorial veto?

The Article 4, Section 14 of the Texas constitution discusses the gubernatorial veto powers.

  1. Write a two-paragraph (single-spaced) summary of any speech given by this governor. In your summary be sure to note any policy positions or social views the governor takes. For what is the governor trying to argue? What is the governor’s agenda in the speech? Include the text of the speech below your summary.

Governor Bush delivered several remarkable speeches during his two tenures as the Texas Governor. One of his notable speeches was on November 19, 1999, at the Ronald Reagan Library. Governor Bush discussed the United States and its approach to foreign affairs. Bush asserted that the American defense should be the primary concern for every President.

Bush noted that despite having a unique sense of pride and promise, the United States had determined foes who disregarded American values and success. Thus, there was a need for Americans to protect their homeland and friends against terror, enemy missiles, and blackmail. Bush also encouraged the mastering of the new technology of war that would help extend the peaceful American influence not only in the world, but also for years to come. Still, Bush warned about viewing military power as the final measure of might. Instead, he suggested that realism must always characterize a human spirit

  1. Find one op-ed published in a newspaper about the tenure of this governor. It must be an op-ed, not just a website about the governor (no Wikipedia, for example). Summarize the OP-ED in a three-paragraph essay the argument of the op-ed. Include a link to the op-ed.

Ethan Bronner of the New York Times wrote an Op-Ed on May 28, 1999, that explored the tenure of Governor Bush and the impact on education. Bronner asserted that the turnaround in Texas Schools was vital for Bush’s Presidential ambitions in 2000. Notably, the Texas Public School system had for so long ranked among the U.S most troubled systems. However, most educators started viewing it as emerging model equity, accountability, and progress under Governor Bush.

Bonner, thus, suggested that Bush’s education record in Texas would give him some credit during the upcoming Republican Presidential primaries. The author also noted that the accountability system was still new when Bush became the Texas Governor in 1994. As a result, many feared that Bush would dismantle it, but instead, he strengthened the system.

The author featured a comment by Professor Richard F, Elmore of the Graduate of Education at Harvard University. The educator believed Bush had changed the whole culture of education in a relatively short period. In other words, Bush ensured that all children including those of color and from poor homes attended schools. Finally, Bonner reported how Governor Bush upset liberals by proposing the use of public money to send children to private schools.


About the Author: Russell White