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Pierce Bush to file for suburban Houston congressional seat

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Pierce Bush. Via Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star

The grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush, nonprofit executive Pierce Bush, will announce his candidacy for Congress on Monday morning, according to an email written by his father, Neil Bush.

Bush will enter an already crowded GOP primary for Texas' 22nd District, the suburban Houston-area seat retiring U.S. Rep. Pete Olson currently holds. The development is something of a surprise; Bush was considering running for the neighboring 7th Congressional District, a seat once held by his grandfather.

But after Olson announced his retirement in late July, Bush began being talked about as a potential candidate for that seat instead. He never publicly commented on the race.

In an email obtained by The Texas Tribune, Neil Bush touts his son's work in the nonprofit sector and asks friends to donate to the campaign, which will roll out on the final day of candidate filing. The deadline is 6 p.m.

Pierce Bush is the Houston-based CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star. His father is Neil Bush, and his cousin is Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. Pierce Bush will enter the campaign with high name identification, given his grandfather, his cousin and his uncle, former Texas governor and President George W. Bush.

But it will not be an assured road for him, or any candidate. There are at least a dozen Republicans who have either filed or announced their candidacies for the GOP nomination in the Sugar Land-based district.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls announced his own Republican candidacy on Saturday. Bush will also face activist Kathaleen Wall, a Republican political donor who spent $6 million of her own money in an unsuccessful bid for the 2018 GOP nomination in the nearby Texas 2nd Congressional District. Other Republican candidates who have already filed with the state party include Dan Matthews, Reddy Banger, Greg Hill, Aaron Hermes, Matt Hinton, John Camarillo, Diana Miller, Joe Walz and Shandon Phan.

It is likely that no candidate will avoid a runoff by winning the majority vote needed to secure the nomination on the March 3 primary.

This once-Republican stronghold turned sharply toward Democrats in the last cycle. Olson easily carried the district by 19 points in 2016. Facing a spirited challenge from Democrat Sri Kulkarni last year, Olson's margined shrank to a mere five points.

Democrats are promising a full offensive there and Kulkarni is running again. He will face attorney Nyanza Davis Moore and Pearland City Councilman Derrick Reed in the Democratic primary.

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