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Oil on canvas, Jeff Bass, 2006
January 5, 1999 to January 2, 2007
Born on February 11, 1953 in Midland Texas, Jeb Bush graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies. Just before graduation, in 1973, he married Columba Garnica Gallo, a native of Mexico. They now have three children. Bush moved to Miami Florida in 1980 to help form what became a highly successful real estate company. He became the chairman of the Dade County Republican Party in 1984, and in 1987 Governor Bob Martinez appointed him to head the state's commerce department. In 1994 Bush ran for governor against a popular incumbent, Lawton Chiles, losing by a small margin. In 1998 he ran again, successfully campaigning on issues related to public school education, urban renewal, and Medicaid funding among other issues.
Governor Jeb Bush was elected Florida's 43rd Governor in 1998, and was re-elected in 2002. During his two terms, Governor Bush revolutionized the education system to achieve dramatic rising student achievement, provided substantial, broad based tax relief and economic incentives to strengthen and diversify Florida's economy. He also initiated measures to strengthen families, help the state's most vulnerable citizens, and protect Florida's natural resources.