Former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West has announced a primary challenge against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in next year's election.
"I’ve not been in elected political office for about a decade, but I can no longer sit on the sidelines and see what has happened in these United States of America and ... the place that I call home," West said.
West, who has been increasingly critical of Abbott's administration, recited the state song of Texas, named some notable Republicans who have contributed to Texas's history, and discussed issues including immigration and human trafficking at the southern border.
A former congressman for Florida, West announced that he would step down as Texas GOP chairman effective July 11, fueling speculation that he might seek statewide office.
West recently took a few minutes to answer questions from High Plains Pundit.
Why are you running for governor of Texas?
West: When you look at how important Texas is to the United States of America, you got to have strong leadership at the state level. You have seen an intentional and purposeful undermining of the sovereignty of Texas by destroying our border.
What do you bring to the table that differentiates you from your fellow Republicans in the race?
West: I have a lifetime of service, sacrifice, and commitment to this country. To include being in a combat zones, and I think people know who I am and that my yes is a yes and my no is a no. I’m not a politician, I’m a statesman and a leader.
What is your biggest objection with Governor Abbott’s administration?
West: I don’t have an issue with Governor Abbott, my issue is the fact that we got to protect our border, and we got to do better with property taxes. We got to do better as we are the number one state in the (country) for human and sex trafficking.
Former President Donald Trump has endorsed the re-election of Governor Abbott. How do you plan to overcome this significant political obstacle?
West: It’s not a big challenge for me because I don’t serve President Trump; I serve God, my country, and Texas.
What are your top priorities as a candidate for governor?
West: Border security, property tax reform, and we got to eliminate the human trafficking and sex trade here in Texas.
Do you believe Governor Abbott has done enough to address the crisis at the southern border?
West: I think that we will see that upon the results of this primary. And that I would not be in this race if I thought if there was a good job being done on our border.
Texas was once a solidly red state but in recent elections the Lone Star State has come closer to becoming a swing state. Do you see this trend continuing?
West: I don’t think Texas as a whole as a state is trending toward the Democratic side. We have had major population centers trending towards the Democratic side and my concern is that is the playbook of the Left. In my home state of Georgia that’s exactly what happened there. The Atlanta metropolitan area, Macon, Columbus, Augusta, Savannah…that’s the result of the two avowed socialist senators they sent up to the US Capitol.