Bush's campaign advisers were Karen Hughes , Joe Allbaugh , and Karl Rove .  Governor Bush (right) with father, former president George H. W. Bush and wife, Laura, in 1997 After easily winning the Republican primary, Bush faced popular Democratic incumbent Governor Ann Richards .   In the course of the campaign, Bush pledged to sign a bill allowing Texans to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons . Richards had vetoed the bill, but Bush signed it into law after he became governor.  According to The Atlantic Monthly , the race "featured a rumor that she was a lesbian, along with a rare instance of such a tactic's making it into the public record – when a regional chairman of the Bush campaign allowed himself, perhaps inadvertently, to be quoted criticizing Richards for 'appointing avowed homosexual activists ' to state jobs".  The Atlantic , and others, connected the lesbian rumor to Karl Rove,  but Rove denied being involved.  Bush won the general election with 53.5 percent against Richards' 45.9 percent.  Bush used a budget surplus to push through Texas's largest tax-cut, $2 billion.  He extended government funding for organizations providing education of the dangers of alcohol and drug use and abuse, and helping to reduce domestic violence .  Critics contended that during his tenure, Texas ranked near the bottom in environmental evaluations. Supporters pointed to his efforts to raise the salaries of teachers and improve educational test scores.  In 1999, Bush signed a law that required electric retailers to buy a certain amount of energy from renewable sources (RPS),    which helped Texas eventually become the leading producer of wind powered electricity in the U.S.    In 1998 , Bush won re-election with a record  69 percent of the vote.  He became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to two consecutive four-year terms.  For most of Texas history, governors served two-year terms; a constitutional amendment extended those terms to four years starting in 1975.  In his second term, Bush promoted faith-based organizations and enjoyed high approval ratings.  He proclaimed June 10, 2000, to be Jesus Day in Texas, a day on which he "urge[d] all Texans to answer the call to serve those in need".  Throughout Bush's first term, he was the focus of national attention as a potential future presidential candidate. Following his re-election, speculation soared, and within a year he decided to seek the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.  Presidential campaigns 2000 presidential candidacy Main article: United States presidential election, 2000 See also: George W. Bush presidential campaign, 2000 Primary
George W. Bush in Concord, New Hampshire, signing to be a candidate for president Incumbent Democratic president Bill Clinton was completing his second and final term, and the field for nomination for President of both parties was wide open. Bush was the Governor of Texas in June 1999 when he announced his candidacy for President of the United States. He entered a large field
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