Jeb Bush describes himself as a grinder. Though politics may be in his blood, it has never come easy to the son of the 41st President and the younger brother of the 43rd.
Touted as the son likeliest to inherit the family dynasty, Bush lost his first bid for the Florida governorship in 1994. He also yielded his position in the family’s political pecking order, as brother George leapfrogged him too run for President in 2000. Jeb became governor of Florida in 1998 and went on to serve two terms in Tallahassee, building a reputation as a tireless conservative reformer on policy issues ranging from school choice to education reform.
That reputation, along with the family’s unmatched fundraising network, helped Bush supporters quickly amass a nine-figure campaign war chest when he began preparing for a presidential campaign last winter. Winning over the electorate has been tougher. Republican primary voters have been skeptical about the prospect of a third Bush presidency, and Jeb has been rusty on the campaign trail.
Early polls show him in the second tier of a crowded campaign field as the candidates prepare for the third Republican presidential debate on Oct. 28 in Colorado.