Texas GOP Chairman Allen West announces resignation, plans to explore run for office

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Texas GOP Chairman Allen West announced his resignation Friday as he considers a run for elected office, according to reports. 

“It has been my distinct honor to serve as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. I pray Godspeed for this governing body,” he said in a release, according to FOX 7 in Austin.

He joked he might run for “dog catcher” before telling reporters he was looking at a statewide office or even a congressional run. 

“There’s a guy in Texas 32 I really don’t care for being my congressional representative,” he said, referring to U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, a Democrat. 

West – a 60-year-old Atlanta native who represented Florida’s 22nd Congressional District from 2011 to 2013 before moving to Texas – has said he may challenge Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in the upcoming primary, according to FOX 7. 

West has been a frequent critic of Abbott’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Allen West speaks to supporters of President Donald Trump during a rally outside of City Hall in Dallas, Nov. 14, 2020. (Associated Press)

Travis County GOP Chairman Matt Mackowiak in a statement slammed West over his decision to resign.

“It is now clear that Allen West’s entire tenure as Texas GOP Chair was intended to do only what many suspected: provide him a platform for his political future, not an opportunity to build the party.”

West took over the top position less than a year ago, according to the Texas Tribune. 

But West said candidates have a window of opportunity to run for office, adding he planned to resign to avoid a conflict of interest.

He had a combative tenure during which he challenged the party’s top leaders, including leading a protest outside Abbott’s home.

West’s resignation will take effect in July after a successor is chosen, according to FOX 7. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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