Texas GOP President Allen West announced on Sunday he is running for governor, challenging fellow Republican Greg Abbott.
The announcement was made during West’s appearance at Sojourn Church in Carrollton, where the former Florida congressman released a video launching its campaign.
“I haven’t been elected for about a decade, but I can’t stand on the sidelines and see what happened in this United States of America and… the place I call home.” West said in the video. , which was preceded by West’s reading aloud of the Declaration of Independence to worshipers gathered on July 4.
West’s campaign launch comes about a month after he announced his resignation as president of the state party. The resignation takes effect on July 11, when the state’s Republican executive committee is due to meet to choose West’s successor as president.
West was quick to hint that he was considering a statewide job candidacy after announcing his resignation, although speculation had run for months that he was considering a bigger job. As president of the state party, he has not shied away from clashing with heads of state, including Abbott.
Since his election as President of the Texas GOP in July of last year when he solidly defeated then-incumbent James Dickey, West has criticized Abbott’s response to the coronavirus and has sought to push the governor’s legislative agenda. more to the right.
Abbott largely ignored West’s attacks. But the governor has increasingly taken care of his right flank in recent months, as he appeared to try to reduce potential vulnerabilities ahead of his re-election campaign.
West did not directly mention Abbott in his Sunday remarks at church or in the video. West used the video to outline a platform focused on protecting the state’s energy resources from the Green New Deal – the sweeping climate change proposal pushed by some Democrats in Washington, DC – securing the border of the state. State “to make sure Texas is for Texans,” and the fight against sex trafficking.
Abbott’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on West’s ad.
Abbott received his first credible primary challenger in May, when former State Senator Don Huffines of Dallas launched a bid against Abbott. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller also weighed in against Abbott, but announced last month that he would seek re-election to his current post instead.
Faced with angst within the party, Abbott has also embraced former President Donald Trump more than ever. In June, he got Trump’s approval for re-election, announced that Texas would build its own border wall to complete work started under Trump, and invited Trump to the state for a border tour.
West is also a vocal ally of Trump, although he has dismissed the impact of Trump’s approval on his future political plans.
“You know, I don’t serve President Trump,” West said in June. “I serve God, the country and Texas. So it doesn’t affect me at all. “
West represented Florida in Congress from 2011 to 2013. He moved to Texas in 2014 to become CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas think tank that closed its doors three years later.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune, a non-partisan, nonprofit media organization that educates – and engages with – Texans about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.