6 things to know about Jeb Bush – USA TODAY
Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor whose brother and father both served as presidents, is poised to formally jump into the 2016 presidential race on Monday. Here are six things to know:
His full name is John Ellis Bush, and his nickname derives from his initials, J.E.B. He is seven years younger than his brother, former president George W. Bush.
The family business
When he was growing up, Bush’s family thought he would be the most likely presidential candidate, not his brother. Through his mother, Barbara Pierce Bush, he is distantly related to yet another president: Franklin Pierce, the nation’s 14th president (1853-1857) and often rated one of the worst.
His wife & kids
He met his wife, Columba, when he was in Mexico as part of a high school program abroad. Jeb is fluent in Spanish. The two married when he was 21 and she was 19. They have three children: Jeb Jr., Noelle, and George P., who was elected Texas land commissioner in November.
Unlike George W. Bush, who has made light of his mediocre academic record at Yale, Jeb Bush sped through the University of Texas in three and a half years and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
He is Catholic. Raised Episcopalian, Bush converted to his wife’s faith in 1995, saying at the time that part of the church’s appeal is “the fact that the Catholic Church believes in and acts on absolute truth as its foundational principles and doesn’t move with modern times as my former religion did.”
His home-state rival
The top tier of the Republican presidential field will feature two Floridians — Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio — whose relationship will soon evolve from mentor-protégé to White House rivals. Bush was governor while Rubio served in the state House and mentored him during his rise to prominence, culminating in his election as speaker in 2006. The Bush and Rubio presidential candidacies could now be on a collision course heading toward the winner-take-all Florida primary on March 15, 2016.