Jeb Bush was elected the 43rd governor of the state of Florida on November 3, 1998, and was reelected by a wide margin in 2002. His second term as Governor ended in January 2007.
Bush earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Florida in 1981. With partner Amando Codina, he started a small real estate development company, which grew to become the largest, full-service commercial real estate company in South Florida.
Bush served as Florida’s secretary of commerce under Bob Martinez, Florida’s 40th governor. As secretary of commerce, he promoted Florida’s business climate worldwide. Following an unsuccessful bid for Governor in 1994, Bush founded the non-profit Foundation for Florida’s Future, which joined forces with the Greater Miami Urban League to establish one of the state’s first charter schools. He also co-authored Profiles in Character, a book profiling 14 of Florida’s civic heroes—people making a difference without claiming a single news headline.
After his election, Bush increased funding for public education and was described as Florida’s “Education Governor” by Florida Trend magazine. He was tough on crime and worked tirelessly to diversify Florida’s economy for the 21st Century, including offering tax relief for individuals and businesses in the state.
Governor Bush put Florida on the forefront of consumer healthcare advances by signing Medicaid reform legislation, “Empowered Care,” in June 2006.
Bush is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. He lives in Miami with his wife Columba, and they have three children.