Republican Allen West, the former Florida congressman who rode into office in a Tea Party cup a decade ago, said on Sunday that he’s running for Governor of Texas in a bid to again seize on “restless anger from the right”.
West faces a tough battle in taking on the incumbent, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who’s up for a third term and may also be eyeing a 2024 Presidential bid. Abbott has already locked in the endorsement of Donald Trump — whose voters West would need to have any shot at winning a GOP primary in Texas.
West won a House seat in Florida in 2010 and quickly became a Tea Party favorite and lightning rod, at one point accusing Democrats of having as many as 80 communists in their House caucus. He failed to win reelection in 2012. He later moved to Texas and largely stayed out of the spotlight until running for chairman of the state GOP party last year. After winning the job, West went about criticizing Republicans as much as Democrats, calling the GOP speaker of the Texas House a “traitor” for working across the aisle and leading a protest outside Abbott’s mansion over coronavirus restrictions.
— Allen West (@AllenWest) July 4, 2021
West’s popularity still lingers with those in the grassroots from a combative one term in the U.S. House, making him the most prominent primary challenge Abbott has faced since becoming governor in 2015. Already there have been signs of Abbott moving to protect his right-wing base, passing the loosest gun laws in Texas that he previously never endorsed, and picking up Trump’s immigration mantle along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Failed Congressman Allen West will Challenge failed Governor Greg Abbott.
After this battle of the losers we will #TurnTexasBlue
— Chris Hahn (@ChristopherHahn) July 4, 2021
Democrats, who continue to see Texas as a budding battleground even as their losing streak continues, have yet to put up a challenger to Abbott in 2022 although former Congressman Beto O’Rourke isn’t ruling it out.
In May, West spoke at an event in Dallas that was organized by adherents of the QAnon conspiracy and included former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, which only brought more criticism West’s way.
This sure looks like Allen West will be jumping in to primary Greg Abbott.
Allen is a secessionist, a Qanon supporter, and believes Trump is rightfully president. He’s much more in-line with today’s Republican Party. https://t.co/2pBPL2fpSu
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) June 4, 2021
Michael Flynn and Allen West standing on stage with “QAnon John.” (Gab) pic.twitter.com/81vt4dGwg2
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) June 19, 2021
Allen West, who previously let soldiers under his command beat an Iraqi man and then staged a mock execution despite having zero evidence against the man, announces he is running for Governor of Texas.
Because Texas needs someone to the right of psychopathic gun nut Greg Abbott?
— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) July 4, 2021
Abbott, who in previous years drew only token primary challengers, now faces two candidates who have previously held office. Former GOP state Sen. Don Huffines is also running.