Ex-Florida congressman who made headlines for bigoted comments to run for Texas governor

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The candidate, Allen West, recently resigned as Texas GOP chair after he was accused of using the post to promote himself.

One-term former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) announced Tuesday that he will run for Texas governor in 2022. Just months ago, he resigned as state GOP chair, less than a year into his term.

In a press release, West claimed his new campaign would be to "secure liberty and security here in the Lone Star State. If we cannot hold Texas, the values our nation were founded upon are in jeopardy."

He would likely face incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in a primary. Abbott has been facing declining poll numbers after pushing a far-right agenda, refusing to protect his constituents against COVID-19, and failing to secure the state's electrical grid.

But West signaled he would run to Abbott's right, attacking him and the other Republicans who currently control the state government as "complicit in shutting down businesses, enforcing illegal mandates, and undermining the rights of Texans."

West has earned a national reputation for his extremist and bigoted words — and deeds.

In 2003, he was stripped of his command in the U.S. Army after assaulting and threatening to kill an Iraqi detainee during interrogation. After pleading guilty, he was sent home, fined, and forced to retire.

Five years later, he unsuccessfully ran for a U.S. House seat in southern Florida.

In a 2010 rematch, he was elected as part of the tea party wave.

West made national news for Islamophobic attacks on former President George W. Bush, who he said had been tricked "into going into some mosque, taking his shoes off, and then saying that Islam was a religion of peace," and for accusing Muslim people of accepting "a totalitarian, theocratic political ideology" rather than a religion.

He lost his seat after a single term. But he continued to make news, mocking feminists in 2013 as "neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness" and reportedly losing his job at a right-wing media company for calling a colleague a "Jewish American Princess."

After a 2014 move to Texas, he was elected state GOP chair in July 2020. There, he embraced the dangerous QAnon conspiracy movement and proposed secession after President Donald Trump lost reelection.

"Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution," he said in an official state party press release.

West resigned his chairmanship in June amid accusations that he used the post to advance his own political prospects.

On Monday, he put out a press statement baselessly claiming that the man accused of driving into a Christmas parade on Sunday in Waukesha, Wisconsin, was motivated by Black Lives Matter's "anti-American, anti-police, and anti-Western rhetoric."

Law enforcement officials have made it clear they have found no indications that the attack was domestic terrorism.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.