Interview with Allen West

Allen West is one of eight Republicans vying to be at the top of the party’s general election ticket come November. Until then, he must beat out seven other conservative-minded candidates who too want to be governor of Texas.

West is a former U.S. representative and former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. His top priorities include border security, ending property taxes and energy independence, per his campaign website.

Why are you the best candidate for the job?

I think I'm qualified and that I have been a servant to this country for 22 years. I've also been a legislator. I've also been the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. I’ve stood up for the constitutional conservative legislative priorities that are here, and I think the most important thing is people know that I can be trusted.

What do you believe is the biggest issue impacting Texans today?

It’s the border. When you look at what is happening with our border, it is tied to many different crises including the drug trafficking crisis, which led to the highest amount of drug overdoses that this country has seen in a year. Over 100,000 lost their lives primarily to fentanyl that's coming across the border from Mexico. It is a crisis. Texas is the number one state in the [country] for human sex trafficking. Houston and Dallas are the top two cities in the country for sex trafficking, and Texas is number three in the nation for missing children. I think those are two other crises that we have to deal with: this human trafficking issue, as well as the public health crisis because as long as you're allowing people to come into this state illegally—and they're not being mandated to have a shot or any type of testing for the COVID virus—then that continues to be proliferated, not just across Texas, but across United States.

Many businesses—and especially small businesses—were impacted by the pandemic. How would you assure Texas business owners of brighter days ahead?

One thing that you will never have to worry about is a Gov. West making a decision about who and what is essential. The most essential thing for business owners is their business. Look at the 2.7 million Texans who lost jobs, almost 10,000 small businesses that will never come back. In fact, we're among the highest in the country for business bankruptcies. Every decision that I make will be based upon making sure that the small businesses—which are 75% to 80% of the economy of the United States, definitely here in Texas—stay thriving and surviving.

Reports have found that the state's electric grid is not prepared for another major freeze. How would you ensure a near-collapse of the grid would not happen again?

We got to make sure that we don't put an over dependence on an unreliable source of energy, which is wind and solar. Right now we have about 23% to 26% that we are allowing them to be part of our energy distribution plan. I think that should be down to about 3% to 6%. I don't want to subsidize green energy anymore here in Texas, so I will make sure that Chapter 313 and the Texas code is actually eliminated. We’ve got to make sure that we winterize [and] that we're preparing all of our energy resources. We need to go back and bring some of those coal fire plants back so we can have redundant and backup systems for oil, natural gas, and I think that we also need to look and see if we should invest in one more nuclear plant to be here in the state of Texas.

If you could take a different approach to one statewide issue than Abbott, what would it be and why?

It is very simple — I don't believe in edicts, orders, mandates and decrees. One of the things that I brought forward as a legislative priority when I was chairman of the Republican Party of Texas was to curtail executive overreach. I think that you have to do things according to the rule of law, the three branches of government and respect the separation of powers and enumerated power that each branch has. You're not going to see me be an executive ruler. You are going to see me be a governor that works with the legislature to make sure that we're doing things according to the Texas State Constitution.

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