TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Allen West announced in a church service at Sojourn Church in Carrolton, TX, that he will be running for governor against Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a video he said, “I’ve not been elected political office for about a decade, but I can no longer sit on the sidelines and see what has happened in these United States of America…and the place that I call home.”
West’s campaign launch comes about a month after he announced his resignation as state party chairman. The resignation is effective July 11, when the State Republican Executive Committee is set to meet to pick West’s successor as chair.
West quickly hinted that he was considering a run for statewide office after he announced his resignation, though speculation had run rampant for months that he was eying a bigger job. As state party chairman, he did not shy away from conflict with state leaders, most notably Abbott.
Since his election as Texas GOP chair in July of last year when he soundly beat then-incumbent James Dickey, West has criticized Abbott’s coronavirus response and sought to push the governor’s legislative agenda further to the right.
Abbott nonetheless received his first credible primary challenger in May, when former state Sen. Don Huffines of Dallas launched a bid against Abbott. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller weighed running against Abbott as well but announced last month he would instead seek reelection to his current job.
Facing the intraparty angst, Abbott also has embraced former President Donald Trump more than ever. In June, he secured Trump’s endorsement for reelection, announced Texas would build its own border wall to finish the job started under Trump and invited Trump to the state for a border tour.
West is also a vocal Trump ally, though he has brushed off the impact of Trump’s endorsement on his future political plans.
“You know, I don’t serve President Trump,” West said in June. “I serve God, county and Texas. So that does not affect me whatsoever.”
West, who recently resigned as chairman of the GOP in Texas had said in a news conference in Whitehouse on June 4 that he was contemplating running for office.
West had resigned as GOP chairman because serving in the post and running for office could create a conflict, he said.
During the news conference, he offered his assessment of the recently completed Texas legislative session and the priorities of the Republican Party during the session.
He said he was disappointed that legislation involving “election integrity” did not get passed.
He said it is “disconcerting” that the legislature had to be called for a special session to deal with it.
He said the Republican Party should have done more to protect monuments from being removed or defaced.
“No piece of legislation relating to monument protection, was passed,” he said.
He said although Texas Republicans want to end the practice of “child gender modification” but that legislation that dealt with this failed.
He praised the passage of legislation that allows people to carry a handgun without a permit. He also praised legislation that limits abortions in Texas.
It is “discouraging” that too many Republican legislative priorities were not accomplished.
West was named the chairman at the virtual state convention last July after defeating incumbent James Dickey. He is a former Florida congressman and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col.