When the votes were finally counted Wednesday morning in the four-candidate Republican primary for attorney general of Texas, it was George P. Bush who ended up with the coveted second-place finish at 23%, which means he will be in the runoff in May.
Under most political yardsticks, Bush — state land commissioner and nephew of one president and grandson of another — should be the favorite against the top vote-getter, embattled incumbent Ken Paxton (43%), who is under a cloud of legal issues and facing accusations of former staffers that he is guilty of "bribery, abuse of office, and other crimes."
But Paxton, 59, nevertheless remains the favorite over Bush in the May contest.
In large part, Lone Star State GOP sources told Newsmax, this is due to many of the likely voters in the runoff are Trump-style conservatives and will not swallow promoting the heir to a political dynasty they don't perceive as conservative.
"The Bush name is not what it once was in Texas," former State GOP Chair Tom Pauken, a longtime movement conservative, told Newsmax. "It is now more of a negative than a positive in nominating candidates."
Another longtime Texas conservative, Austin attorney Howard Hickman, agreed.
"I think Paxton will win because most Republicans have had enough of the Bushes policies and Paxton nearly beat George P. by 2-to-1," he said. "In addition, Bush only won counties with a Hispanic majority and no major urban areas."
Hickman noted that the fourth-place (17.1%) finisher, stalwart conservative U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, was a particular favorite of activists on the right.
"I don't believe anyone who voted for Gohmert would ever go over to Bush — even if Louie told them to," he added.
Placing third in the race at 17.8%, was former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, who had the solid backing of Texans for Lawsuit Reform's political action committee.
Neither Guzman nor Gohmert has said who they will support in the runoff.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now
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