Allen West Resigns as Texas GOP Chair, Could Challenge Abbott

Allen West Resigns as Texas GOP Chair, Could Challenge Abbott allen west speaks into mic under texas flag Texas GOP chairman Allen West speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump during a rally in front of City Hall in Dallas, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (LM Otero/AP)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 04 June 2021 11:47 AM

Allen West resigned as Texas Republican Party chairman on Friday – touching off immediate speculation he may challenge Gov. Greg Abbott.

"It has been my distinct honor to serve as chairman of the Republican Party of Texas," he said in a statement posted on the state party’s website. "I pray Godspeed for this governing body."

And the party noted: "Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Allen West, has submitted his irrevocable resignation to the officials’ meeting as of 8 a.m. CT today. He will remain at the helm of the Texas GOP until a new chairman can be selected on July 11th at an undetermined location as of now.

"Lt. Col. Allen West will take this opportunity to prayerfully reflect on a new chapter in his already distinguished career. We know that wherever he goes next, he will continue to be a bulwark against progressive socialism and a champion for the principles of Texas and our American Republic."

The Dallas Morning News reported that West, a former Florida congressman, told WBAP radio that he is considering a run for governor. And The Texas Tribune said he has not ruled out challenging Abbott.

The Tribune noted that Abbott has already drawn a primary challenge from former state Sen. Don Huffines of Dallas.

West had sued Abbott for extending the early voting period due the pandemic. He protested in front of the Governor’s Mansion over coronavirus-related shutdowns.

But the news outlet pointed out that Abbott is not the only statewide official with whom West has been at odds with.

Near the end of the legislative session, he put pressure on Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the presiding officer, to pass a House-approved bill allowing permitless carry of handguns.

The Tribune said he questioned Patrick's commitment to the cause and claimed the Senate added "poison-pill amendments."

Patrick eventually was able to get the needed votes and got the bill through the Senate.