U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R) will make a long-shot bid to become the next Republican Conference chair, challenging the presumptive candidate, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.). Roy had been considering entering the race to be a conservative alternative for members who believe Stefanik is not sufficiently conservative. The leadership vacancy occurred because U.S. House Republicans voted to remove U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) earlier this week, citing the distraction her insistence that the 2020 presidential election was not stolen was causing for the party’s messaging and 2022 prospects.

Former President Trump said he supported Stefanik “by far” over Roy. In a statement, Trump said he could not “imagine” members choosing Roy because “he has not done a great job and will probably be successfully primaried in his own district.” Roy did not vote to overturn Arizona’s lawful election results on January 6. Stefanik did.

Shortly thereafter, Club for Growth endorsed Roy over Stefanik. “It’s time for a real conservative with a record like Roy’s to serve in leadership,” said the group’s president in a statement. Roy has a lifetime 100% rating on the group’s scorecard. Stefanik’s lifetime rating is 35%. For what it’s worth, Cheney’s lifetime score was 65%.

LTGOV: Republican Party chair Allen West accused Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) of placing “poison pill amendments” on House Bill 1927, the “constitutional carry” bill, which is headed to a conference committee. In a video, West said “there’s absolutely no reason Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate Republicans should be the roadblock for constitutional carry.”

Patrick responded that the bill was on track “despite an avalanche of misinformation and just plain lies from outside agitators.”

Since becoming party chair last summer, West has sued Gov. Greg Abbott (R) over his extending the early voting period for the 2020 general election and protested his Covid-19 response policies (“worse than the disease”), called Speaker Dade Phelan (R) a “traitor,” and now attacked Patrick.

Ballot Fraud: A former candidate for mayor of Carrollton was indicted on 109 felony charges related to ballot fraud. Zul Mirza Mohamed was charged with 25 counts of unlawful possession of a ballot and 84 counts of fraudulent use of a mail ballot application. He was arrested in October after the Denton Co. Elections Office alerted law enforcement of potential fraud. Mohamed allegedly obtained the ballots with fictitious photo identification, and some mail ballots were sent to a post office box which was claimed to be a nursing home. Eleven applications were submitted for people who had already requested ballots. Mayor Kevin Falconer was re-elected with more than 80% of the vote.

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