Born at Midland, Texas on February 11, 1953, little did Jeb Bush know that politics will soon run on his blood. Son of the US 41st President George Bush and brother to George W. Bush, the 43rd President of America, this Texas Republican made his own mark in politics in the ‘80s and ‘90s before obtaining the state of Florida’s governorship in 1998. It was speculated by many people that Jeb Bush will run for the US Senate the year of 2008, but that did not happen. In June 2015 however, the younger Bush announced his bid for the 2016 US presidency.
Spending much of his life around politics, Jeb Bush expressed interest in public service at a young age. He was in an exchange program in high school and chose to go to Mexico to teach English at the time. He later graduated at the University of Texas with a degree in Latin Affairs.
In the early stages of the 1980s, Jeb Bush left Texas for Florida to become a real estate broker and developer. And from 1987 to 1988, he held his first public servant post as the Florida state’s Secretary of Commerce. He then progressed with his political ambitions by running as Florida’s governor against Lawton Chiles in 1994, unfortunately, he lost that bid. He, however, was successful on his second attempt in 1998.
Jeb Bush stayed in office for two straight terms ending at 2007. Leaving the governorship, Bush will be best remembered for his efforts in bettering the state’s education system, his works to protect and preserve the environment, and his achievements in improving Florida’s economy. And even after leaving office, Jeb Bush remained an active advocate of a number of political issues. He’s a known supporter of the Common Core Standard which is a national initiative for education empowerment and of immigration reforms. On January 2015, Jeb Bush declared his presidential bid, making him the third member of his family to seek for election to the nation’s highest office. And he kicked off his campaign trail, he was quoted to say that he “would take Washington, the country’s capital, out of the business of causing problems” and even adding that he knows how to fix it because he’s done it in the past.
Aiming to be America’s top leader and one of the world’s most powerful people is no simple task and Jeb Bush is certainly not a stranger in the messy arena of politics. Like any other presidential candidate, he was asked about his stance on casinos and gambling in general amongst other issues. It was a known fact that Jeb Bush maintained his hard stance against gambling in the state of Florida back when he was still its governor, sending the efforts of Donald Trump, the billionaire investor and primary proponent of such projects into the dumps. As of the moment, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush lock horns in their battle to secure the Republican presidential nomination and the casino/gambling episode illustrates the animosity between the two that was long generated even before the 2016 race has started.
Donald Trump openly brags about his capabilities to donate money to politicians only to exact favors from them after they’ve been elected to office. And as it happened, Trump indeed held a major fundraiser back in 1998 for the then-gubernatorial candidate Jeb Bush and coughed up $50,000 to the Florida Republican Party. However, when Bush took office in 1999, Trump, unfortunately, did not get any of his political help in making his casino dreams a reality in Florida.
Instead, Bush remained adamant in his position in blocking Mr. Trump’s hopes of creating a multi-million dollar casino endeavor with Florida’s Seminole Tribe. Governor Bush certainly made it clear that “he does not want any casinos in Florida” and that word definitely resonated with everyone. The state’s laws prevented casinos from widening their offerings of bingo-style games to other operations and when Jeb Bush got elected in ’98, he made sure that none of that would happen on his term.
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times in 1998, Jeb Bush said that he “is opposed to casino gambling at the state of Florida whether it be Indian property or otherwise” and that he’ll always support the people’s position on the matter which gave reference to the three failed referendum attempts to approve casino gambling. After Bush’s election, Trump reportedly abandoned his efforts to grow the casino business in Florida.
“The state of Florida is a family-friendly, prosperous and wholesome place and gambling needs no part in that.” – Jeb Bush, May 2008.
Back in 2005, Florida Governor Bush opposed to the operation of casino-style slot machines at the Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Like many people in the opposition, Bush was concerned about the effects the gaming expansion would bring to the rest of Florida.
In 2008, Jeb Bush successfully fought against a Miami-Dade proposal to allow slot machines at the race tracks.
Jeb Bush also fought to push the 1999 ban on state leases to gambling cruise ships thereby preventing them from docking anywhere in Florida.
After leaving the gubernatorial office at 2007, Bush offered that the gaming expansion was indeed possible, even inevitable in Florida. In an interview conducted in 2011, he acceded to the fact that the lure of tax revenues may cause an expansion in Florida and adding that “he’s opposed to the gambling expansion, but then again, he’s no longer the governor.”