Former one-term Florida congressman Allen West won’t complete the first half of his first term as chair of the Republican Party of Texas. He submitted his “irrevocable resignation” today (Friday), presumably to run for governor, Congress or another office. He will continue to serve until a successor is selected next month.

In a statement, West “expressed his humble gratitude” and indicated he would “take this opportunity to prayerfully reflect on a new chapter is his already distinguished career.”

West was elected to the post at the party’s state convention less than a year ago, ousting incumbent James Dickey after abandoning a challenge of U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas). During his brief tenure, West led protests at the governor’s mansion, sued Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over his order extending the early voting period, called Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) a “Republican political traitor,” accused Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) of being “the roadblock for constitutional carry,” adopted a QAnon cult slogan, backed secession and left the party’s PAC with its lowest reported cash-on-hand figure in more than a decade – nearly $825K less than when he started.

In a previously scheduled appearance this afternoon, West indicated he may challenge Allred, who is already fundraising off of the news.

Former Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) said he filed a campaign treasurer appointment to run for party chair. Current Vice Chair Cat Parks has also been mentioned as a likely candidate for the post. David Covey, president of the Texas Republican County Chairmens’ Assoc., is also considering becoming a candidate. The State Republican Executive Committee will select West’s successor.

LAND open: Sen. Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) is considering running to succeed Land Comm. George P. Bush (R), who is running for AG. Austin attorney Lesli Fitzpatrick and San Antonio media strategist Weston Martinez have already established campaign committees for the race. Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller (R) endorsed Martinez.

In a tweet, former Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R) indicated he may also be interested in seeking the office.

SD18: Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) announced she would seek re-election.

Runoff Elections: Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) in jurisdictions where runoff elections are needed to settle races for which no one received a majority vote on May 1. Our live coverage will begin at 7 p.m. CT.

Dallas: Early voting turnout for council runoffs was 6%, the same as the 2019 runoff election.

Fort Worth: Just over 48K people voted early in the mayoral runoff, an increase of 45% over the May 1 general election’s early voting period and the highest for a mayor’s race in a decade. Keep in mind that this brisk turnout is still just 10% of registered voters. Early turnout for the Arlington mayoral runoff was just 6%.

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