West said in his address he will “explore the opportunity to be the next chairman” for RPT chair.
He stated his goal is to “recruit, train, resource, equip, and deploy constitutional conservatives to win at the local, state, and national level.”
West also warned against the “scourge of progressive socialism” which aims for “wealth redistribution and nationalizing economic production.”
West is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel who served in Kuwait in 1991 and Operation: Iraqi Freedom 12 years later. In 2003, West was charged with using “improper methods to force information out of an Iraqi detainee” as part of an effort to uncover information related to an insurgent attack against U.S. soldiers.
West retired from the Army after the incident.
From there, he moved to Florida where he taught at a high school and eventually returned to Afghanistan as an advisor to the Afghan National Army.
In 2008, West ran as the Republican candidate in Florida’s 22nd congressional district. West lost that race but took the seat by almost 10 points two years later in a rematch with incumbent Democrat Ron Klein.
West became the first African-American Republican member of Congress from Florida since Reconstruction.
After 2010 redistricting, West was moved into the 18th congressional district. West lost the 2012 race to Democrat challenger Patrick Murphy by less than 2,000 votes.
Nearly $20 million was spent in the 2012 race, which at that point was the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history.
In 2015, West moved to Texas to lead the now-defunct National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonpartisan public policy research organization.
During his time in politics, West has been a prominent voice for the Tea Party movement and conservative social issues.
West currently lives in Garland with his family.
Current RPT chair James Dickey assumed the role after his predecessor, Tom Mechler, resigned.
Chairman Dickey said in a statement on his Facebook page, “I am running for re-election as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas to continue to bring us together to win in 2020 for President Trump and our Republican ballot.”
He added, “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 narrowly won the 2017 race against Houstonian Rick Figueroa by one vote.
In 2018, Dickey beat challenger Cindy Asche 22-9.
The 2020 RPT convention is May 14-16 of next year.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.