Texas politics: Retired US Army Lt. Col. Allen West campaigns as ‘true Republican’ for governor

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — There are seven Republican opponents of Gov. Greg Abbott in the Texas primary. Among them is a former Florida congressman and chairman of the Texas Republican Party, Allen West.

ABC13 caught up with West during a recent campaign stop in Huntsville on his statewide pre-primary tour, where he visited a group of veterans at a charity event.

“The number one issue is the border. And also safety and security,” said West, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel.

He campaigned on the border, saying the state and federal government aren’t doing enough to stop illegal immigration. It’s a theme among the GOP primary candidates. Yet West is also critical of the deployment of the Texas National Guard and the high-profile issues over their inconsistent pay and mental health.

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“I spent 22 years in the US military,” West said. “I understand what it means to be deployed, and we have to make sure that our men and women on this border have the right mission, that they have the right task and the right objective, that they are paid on time. , and we have to make sure that we provide them with financial assistance.”

Campaigning with West was musician and conservative activist Ted Nugent, a former Abbott supporter but now calling West an upgrade.

“I helped Greg Abbott get elected because I saw he was a good attorney general,” Nugent said, “and he represented the constitution, but a lot of Texans were disappointed with his non- keeping his promises.”

West is one of those Republicans who may have pushed Abbott to campaign more right-wing, seeking the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. West, who served as the state’s short-lived Republican Party chairman, who resigned ahead of his gubernatorial run, said Abbott’s response to COVID-19, warrants and failure to convene the legislature in emergency session, were instrumental in its decision to run.

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“I’m very focused,” West said. “I believe in the constitution and restoring the rule of law. I don’t believe an elected official has the enumerated power to decide who or what is essential. I think it’s not so much a party issue It’s about understanding the relationship between the individual and the governmental institution.”

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