Bush flying to Texas to vote in GOP primary


DALLAS – President Bush added a side trip to his Texas ranch to vote in Tuesday’s Republican primary after aides apparently forgot to order an absentee ballot.

Bush hasn’t missed a GOP contest since he started voting in Crawford in March 2002. An administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, indicated Saturday that White House staff had slipped up on the paperwork for requesting a mail-in ballot this time.

Texas also allows a generous period for early in-person voting. But that option expired Friday while Bush was in India and Pakistan.

Early Saturday, with the president at risk of missing the election – including a nomination fight for the local congressional seat – the White House announced he would fly to Crawford after a meeting with the Russian foreign minister at the White House. He’ll arrive at the polls at the Crawford Fire Station before the 7 p.m. closing.

“He intends to vote, and he’ll be down there to vote,” said White House chief of staff Andrew Card.

Repeated requests for more information from White House press secretary Scott McClellan went unanswered. His mother, state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a Republican, is running for governor as an independent.

Bush will spend Tuesday night at his ranch, then fly Wednesday to New Orleans to tour the ongoing hurricane recovery efforts.


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