NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Texas GOP Chairman Allen West has resigned.

Party officials say West will remain chair until a successor is picked on July 11.

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“It has been my distinct honor to serve as Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas,” West said.

In a statement the party said West “will take this opportunity to prayerfully reflect on a new chapter in his already distinguished career.”

The move by West is fueling speculation he could run for statewide office.

West’s departure ends a turbulent 11 months as an activist chairman who eschewed the job’s usual role of party unity and instead used the platform to pressure and criticize Governor Greg Abbott and other top Republican leaders. That included protesting last fall outside Abbott’s mansion over coronavirus restrictions.

West also called the new Republican speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dade Phelan, a “traitor” for working with Democrats and accused GOP lawmakers of trying to purposefully derail looser gun laws that ultimately passed.

A former Florida congressman, West moved to Texas in 2017 and took over the party in the summer of 2020, unseating incumbent James Dickey.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSDFW.com Staff