Allen West, a former one-term U.S. congressman from Florida, has been elected as the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.
West defeated James Dickey, who was running for a second full term, early on July 20 at the party’s virtual convention.
“I am honored and privileged that Republicans of Texas have selected me to Chair their party and to be at the helm during this coming election cycle,” West said in a statement. “We need to focus on maintaining the conservative policies that made Texas strong and drive voter outreach across the state.”
West is planning to travel to south Texas over the weekend to meet with local leaders and officials and try to rally the base and “gin up some Republican support,” Luke Twombly, a spokesman for the retired Army lieutenant colonel, told The Epoch Times.
“He’s going to do a big push across the state to make the big tent bigger,” he said.
Dickey said in a statement: “Thank you for the honor of serving as your Chair. Let’s win in November.”
West served in the U.S. military for more than two decades before representing Florida as a Republican congressman from 2011 to 2013; he moved to Texas since losing his reelection bid. He was injured in a motorcycle crash in May but has recovered.
President Donald Trump was among those congratulating West, telling him “Great job!” in a social media post. The Committee to Defend the President said in a statement that, “West is the conservative champion that Texans desperately need to keep their state red for years to come.”
The vote for the chairmanship was one of several at the virtual convention; some were delayed and will be taken up at a second convention, per a vote at the meeting.
The Texas Democrat Party issued a press release painting West as a partisan and referring to some of his past remarks.
“West is everything that is wrong with the Republican Party and brings to light their failures on building an inclusive, welcoming party that is deliberate and thoughtful in handling crisis situations,” a party spokesman said in a statement.
West invited Gilberto Hinojosa, the current chairman of the Democrat Party of Texas, to a debate. His campaign said the debate would “educate the public on key policy differences between the parties.”