Allen West, notorious for bigoted comments and conspiracy theories, announced his resignation from the top party position.
The Texas Republican Party on Friday announced that its chair, former Florida Rep. Allen West, is resigning less than a year into his tenure — a move the Texas Tribune reports raises speculation that West intends to run for statewide office in Texas.
"Lt. Col. Allen West will take this opportunity to prayerfully reflect on a new chapter in his already distinguished career," the Republican Party of Texas wrote in a statement announcing his resignation. "We know that wherever he goes next, he will continue to be a bulwark against progressive socialism and a champion for the principles of Texas and our American Republic."
While the Texas GOP's statement was laudatory of West, other Republicans were not, accusing him of using the position to boost his own personal political prospects to the detriment of Republicans in the state.
"It is now clear that @AllenWest's entire tenure as @TexasGOP chair was intended to do only what many suspected: Provide him a platform for his political future, not an opportunity to build the party," Matt Mackowiak, chair of the Travis County Republican Party, tweeted.
Mackowiak went on to accuse West of leaving the party in shambles, saying in a Twitter thread:
The party is in the weakest financial position in at least 10 years. For 7+ months, our state chair has been unconscionably attacking our statewide officials, rallying with Alex Jones at the Governor's mansion, attacking our new Speaker, and doing the rhetorical work of Texas Democrats. Now we are locked in to an obscene and wholly unnecessary security contract at TX GOP. Our field effort is decimated. We've done NOTHING to continue our massively effective voter registration effort. ... Allen West has always been all about himself, leaving disaster in his wake.
West, who served one term in Congress in Florida and lost a bid for reelection in 2012 in a GOP-leaning district against a Democratic political novice, has had a career marked by controversy.
While serving as a lieutenant in the United States Army, West was stripped of his command in 2003 after he pleaded guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee.
As chair of the Texas GOP, after the Supreme Court tossed a lawsuit filed by the Texas attorney general that sought to steal the 2020 election from President Joe Biden, West called for Texas and other states Donald Trump had carried to secede from the union.
"Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution," West said in a statement after the court's decision in December 2020.
West also used QAnon phrasing in Texas Republican Party communications, promoting the false conspiracy theory that the FBI deems a domestic terror threat. And he appeared at a rally last month hosted by prominent figures in the QAnon movement, where attendees called for a coup against President Joe Biden and falsely asserted that Trump would be reinstated as president.
Earlier this year, in March, West appeared at an anti-immigration rally with the founder of a right-wing militia group that played a major role in organizing the insurrection at the Capitol by supporters of Trump on Jan. 6.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.