Candidate for Texas Governor Allen West held a campaign stop in downtown Odessa today, meeting with voters and local officials before holding a joint speech with State Representative candidate Casey Gray. 

West is one of eight candidates running for governor in the Republican Primary and is generally viewed as one of the top several challengers to incumbent Governor Greg Abbott.

West’s campaign stop was hosted at the campaign headquarters office of candidate Casey Gray, who is running for the District 81 seat in the Texas House of Representatives, challenging incumbent lawmaker Brooks Landgraf. 

No mention was made during the stop of an endorsement between Gray and West, the joint event came hours after West’s opponent, Governor Greg Abbott, issued an endorsement of Landgraf. 

Rather, Gray characterized the event as just two like-minded conservative republican candidates trying their best to communicate their qualifications and platforms to the voters. 

Allen West campaign tour bus in Downtown Odessa. 01/24/2022 Photo: Odessa Headlines.

Gray and West spoke and answered questions from a packed room of voters and local officials for over an hour and made numerous points to highlight issues Gray and West are unified on while taking opportunities to critique their opponent’s records. 

Included in the issues discussed was Gray citing Landgraf’s refusal to ask Governor Abbott to call a special session to ban vaccine mandates, with West pointing out that if he were governor, he would have already called such as session and therefore he wouldn’t have to be asked. 

West also went after Abbott’s handling of the border security issue, saying that he would combat the cartels by declaring (them) terrorist organizations and addressed numerous issues with how the national guard has been treated – with troops reportedly not being paid, not being given clear mission directives, and being subject to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Both West and Gray are military veterans, with Gray having served in both the U.S. Navy and Texas Army National Guard, and West, who retired holding the rank of Lt. Colonel from the U.S. Army. 

West closed with challenging supporters to speak to their friends and family about the importance of the election, and make sure they are registered to vote and when it is time to vote. 

Gray closed with asking anyone interested in helping with either campaign to join their phone banks effort calling voters ahead of the election and helping increase voter turnout. 

West will be back in Odessa on February 1, for a forum jointly hosted by regional Republican Parties, with tickets for the event now on sale. 

Voting in the March 1 Republican Primary will begin February 14, with January 31 being the last day to register to vote. 

Matt Stringer is a journalist from Odessa, Texas.