Former Florida congressman Allen West beat Texas GOP Chairman James Dickey to take over as head of the nation's largest state Republican Party during early-morning voting Monday at the party's convention, The Texas Tribune reported.
Dickey congratulated West on Facebook, writing that he wishes him “the very best in this role" and then went on to thank Texas party members “for the honor of serving as your Chair. Let's win in November."
West also received congratulations from President Donald Trump in a tweet:
"Congratulations Allen, great job!"
West's victory came amid a disorganized virtual convention, the Tribune reported. The party insisted on carrying out an in-person convention in Houston despite the coronavirus pandemic, but the GOP lost a legal battle in the courts after the convention center operator nixed the party's contract earlier this month.
Despite promises that it had a virtual backup plan, the convention opened Thursday with almost immediate technical problems, and dysfunction continued to plague the get-together so much that delegates voted late Sunday to continue unfinished business at a second convention.
West moved to Texas several years ago and promised to adopt a more aggressive strategy against what he called an increasingly extreme Democratic Party.
"It's time to make sure that the Republican Party of Texas is relevant again, that our message is out, that our message is being heard," West said.
West also rallied delegates against Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s coronavirus response, criticizing the "tyranny that we see in the great state of Texas, where we have executive orders and mandates, people telling us what we can and cannot do, who is essential, who is not essential."
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