Jeb Bush Net Worth

Former Florida Governor is a Multimillionaire But Not From Politics

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Getty Images News

Jeb Bush's net worth is at least $19 million and as much as $22 million, according to tax returns made public by his presidential campaign in 2015 and public remarks by his aides. The disclosures showed Jeb Bush's net worth grew dramatically in the eight years of private-sector work following his departure as governor of Florida in 2007.

Sources of Net Worth in Financial Industry

Bush has earned his money in the private sector from speaking and consulting work in the financial services industry, including private equity. Among the firms he's been associated with are Lehman Brothers and Barclays.

Bush was worth only $1.3 million when he left the Florida governor's mansion in 2007. He was paid more than $28 million since leaving office, according to a New York Times analysis in 2014. That included $3.2 million from serving on the boards of public companies and giving more than 100 speeches for which he was paid at least $50,000 each.

His pursuit of wealth is well documented and will likely become a point of contention should he seek any public office in the future.

Why a Large Net Worth Can Be Bad In Politics

Bush's net worth became an issue for him in the 2016 presidential race. That's because of his reported aggressive quest for wealth in the years since he left the governor's mansion in Florida.

Some political analysts said they believed Bush would face similar hurdles connecting to middle-class Americans as did 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, one of the wealthiest candidates to seek the White House in modern history.

“Running as the second coming of Mitt Romney is not a credential that’s going to play anywhere, with Republicans or Democrats. Not only would this be problematic on the campaign trail, I think it also signals someone who isn’t seriously looking at the presidency or he wouldn’t have gone down this path,” Republican consultant John Brabender told Bloomberg Politics in 2014.

Jeb Bush Takes Flack For 'Rush to Make Money'

Bush entered the Florida governor's mansion in 1999 worth about $2 million, according to published reports detailing his personal finances. In his eight years as governor, Bush would tell reporters "his family finances suffered because of his public service", according to the Tampa Bay Times. He left office with a net worth of $1.3 million.

In their book about the 2012 presidential campaign, Double Down, journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann describe Bush's quest for wealth as a driving factor behind his decision not to seek the Republican nomination that year. He said he wanted to pursue greater wealth instead.

"The former Florida governor was telling everyone the same thing he'd told Romney: he planned to stay on the bench. It wasn't so much concerns about a Bush hangover that were keeping Jeb there. It was his bank account. You don't understand, Bush would say to the Republican poo-bahs begging him to run. I was in the real-estate development business in my state. There was a huge bubble, but I missed out because I was governor for eight years. So I'm starting from scratch. If, God forbid, I'm in an accident tomorrow—I'm in a wheelchair drooling, saliva coming from my mouth—who's going to take care of me? What are my wife and kids going to do? I've got to look after my family. This is my chance to do it."