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The race for who will lead the Republican Party of Texas has officially kicked off, as former congressman and military veteran Allen West announced he is officially exploring a run to chair the state GOP.

West, a former one-term congressman from Florida who has teased a return to public office in recent weeks, announced his decision in a YouTube video posted to his blog, “The Old School Patriot.”

“The fight for America is not in the U.S. Senate or the U.S. House of Representatives,” said West. “It is right here, in the state of Texas. It is here that an ideological battle is being waged, and as a soldier, we move to the sound of the guns.”

“As I look ahead as to how I can best continue my service to our constitutional republic and the great state of Texas, my family and I have decided to explore the opportunity for me to be the next chairman of the Republican Party of Texas,” he added. “My objective is to recruit, train, resource, equip, and deploy constitutional conservative candidates to win elections from the local to the state and the national level and defeat the scourge of progressive socialism here in this blessed state of Texas.”

Shortly after West’s announcement, current RPT Chairman James Dickey announced he was, indeed, seeking re-election and posted a statement to his Facebook page.

“Since I was elected as Chairman of the greatest Republican Party in the country – the Republican Party of Texas – it has been my mission to bring back financial health to RPT, to support the platform, to elect Republicans, and to prepare and build a Republican Party that can deliver a greater victory for President Trump and all Texas Republicans in 2020.”

“We must not be distracted, we cannot take our eye off the ball, we must win in November of 2020, and every fiber of my being is dedicated to delivering Republican victories in Texas next year,” Dickey added.

Dickey, who was originally selected by members of the State Republican Executive Committee to fill a vacancy after the resignation of former Chairman Tom Mechler, won re-election in 2018 after an unsuccessful challenge from Cindy Crocker Asche, the daughter of longtime Texas GOP activist Bill Crocker.

Delegates to the RPT convention will vote for the next chairman when they convene in Houston in May 2020.

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