— -- Name: John Ellis “Jeb” Bush
What he does now: Self-described businessman
What he used to do: Former two-term governor of Florida, from 1998-2007. He’s also had a hand in over 20 businesses and foundations, starting an education nonprofit called Foundation for Florida’s Future, and his own business consulting firm, Jeb Bush & Associates.
Declared as a candidate: June 15, 2015 in Miami.
In his own words: "I would describe myself as a practicing, reform-minded conservative."
Nicknames: Besides the obvious -- Jeb -- he joked that people used to call him “Veto Corleone” as governor of Florida for his aptitude at cutting spending. “Or maybe I called myself that, I can’t remember,” he has said.
Family tree: He’s the second son of 41st president, George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, and the brother to 43rd president, George W. Bush. He has two younger brothers and a sister. He’s been married to wife, Columba for over 40 years and they have three children, George P., Noelle, and Jeb Jr.
Where he grew up: Born in Midland, Texas in 1953, Bush went to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and worked odd jobs, including stints as a door-to-door salesman. In high-school, he was the captain of his tennis team.
What influenced him: At age 17, Bush went to León, Mexico for two months on a high school exchange program. There, he met his future wife, Columba, and developed a love for Latin American culture. Bush, who also lived in Venezuela for a time, speaks Spanish fluently and once called himself (jokingly) the “first… Latino Governor of Florida”. Immigration is one of his passion-issues, co-authoring the book titled, “The Immigration Wars.”
Breakout moment in politics: Bush first ran for governor in Florida in 1994. He ran on a “tough on crime” platform and eventually lost to the incumbent, Lawton Chiles. He then focused on education, helping to start the first charter school in the state, stamping education as one of his core issues, leading to his eventual win in 1998.
What you might not know about him: He is a notoriously voracious reader. Bush keeps up to 100 volumes at a time on his Kindle and once recommended Charles Murray’s “Coming Apart” and Erik Larson’s “The Devil in the White City” to a voter at a Michigan town hall. Among his recent favorites, according to an aide: “The March of Folly,” “Unbroken,” and “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.” But don’t ask him about movies, he has said he is not an avid watcher.
Food he can’t live without: Spicy guacamole. He used to make it as governor and could be spotted on a Sunday afternoon shopping for cilantro.
Might have wished for a do-over: Bush was governor during the 2000 presidential recount controversy, in which three-hundredths of one percent of the Florida vote separated his brother, George W. Bush, and then-Vice President Al Gore. Bush has said, “I didn't do what I had hoped I would be able to do, which was to help him carry the state,” Bush said of his brother. “It was a very emotional time.”
What could hold him back: If Bush wins the Republican presidential nomination and the White House, he would be the third man in his family to be President of the United States. He has been attacked within his own party for being too liberal on certain issues such as immigration and for his advocacy of Common Core educational standards.