Gab Welcomes GOP Texas Chairman Allen West After State Party Votes to Delete Account

The CEO of social network Gab welcomed Texas GOP chairman Allen West to the platform in a blog post on Wednesday, just days after the state's Republican Party voted to delete its official account on the site.

Andrew Torba, who founded the platform in 2016 and has pitched it as a "free speech" alternative to Facebook and Twitter, said the company was "thrilled" to have West in the community, claiming "liberal subversives" had "invaded" the Republican Party of Texas.

West's profile, verified with a blue tick, had attracted more than 17,000 followers by Thursday morning. It had five posts and was following 12 accounts, including Torba, conservative host Dave Rubin and journalist Tim Pool.

The chairman's first post, titled "Regarding 'Critical Race Theory,'" was also posted to the Texas GOP's website and its Facebook and Twitter accounts on Wednesday.

A caption with his second post, a picture of the Constitution, read: "Anyone who knows me, knows I support our constitutional rights, including that of Free Speech."

The State Republican Executive Committee, which governs the Texas GOP, voted 35-25 in favor of suspending use of the Gab account on March 27.

The SREC has voted to delete the @TexasGOP Gab account on a 35-25 vote. #txlege

— Texas Republican Initiative (@TxRepInitiative) March 27, 2021

The profile remains online for now and it is unclear when it will be removed. The most recent post was on March 12, however.

The Gab account appears to have caused a rift between West and Texas GOP vice chair Cat Parks, after she pointed out that posts by the state party had attracted "several comments" containing "anti-semitic and racist tropes."

She said in a statement on March 9 that the language seemed to be a "common theme" on Gab and the social network was "not a viable or healthy outlet" for the party.

"I have…requested that our communications team cease communications on Gab and deactivate our account until further notice," Parks said, adding that Republicans in Texas "fully condemn any form of anti-semitism and racism."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appeared to throw his support behind Parks on March 11, posting a 19-second video to his verified Twitter account to promote legislation and also declaring that "anti-semitic platforms like Gab have no place in Texas."

Anti-Semitic platforms do not represent Texas values.

Proud to support @PhilKingTX & @GoldmanCraig’s bill to fight anti-Semitism in our communities. #txlege

— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 11, 2021

A day later, Parks shared a series of screenshots of Gab posts that used anti-semitic and racist language, including Holocaust denial and the n-word.

Abbott's statement, which seemingly caught some leaders of the state party off guard, was met with pushback by Torba and the Texas GOP account on Gab.

Torba wrote in a blog post: "The enemies of freedom smear us with every name in the book because they hate America and they hate free speech. It's a shame to see a GOP politician fall for this trap when conservative values are under sustained attack."

The Texas GOP Gab account posted: "Cat Parks does not speak for the Texas GOP and her views do not reflect the views/opinions of the Texas GOP.

"We support the First Amendment, including free speech platforms and vice-chair Cat Parks' right to criticize such. Texas GOP has no plan to deplatform from any of our social media accounts. The First Amendment still shines brightly in the Lone Star State."

The RPT will always fight censorship. We support the 1st Amendment, including free speech platforms & VC @CatParksTX's right to criticize such. TexasGOP has no plan to deplatform from any of our social media accounts. The 1st Amendment still shines brightly in the Lone Star State

— Texas GOP (@TexasGOP) March 11, 2021

According to the Texas Tribune newspaper, the Texas GOP Gab account was set up after Donald Trump was banned from social media sites in the wake of the Capitol riot on January 6.

Torba wrote in a blog post on March 27: "The vote…in favor of deleting the Gab account shows that the Texas GOP has an ongoing civil war in the party which is reflective of a much broader situation that is unfolding at the national level in the Republican party."

After the publication of this story, Texas GOP communications director Luke Twombly sent the following statement to Newsweek: "The motion by the State Republican Executive Committee was to suspend the TXGOP Gab account, so we will not be posting on it further.

"The reason we used Gab in the past and the reason Chairman West just opened his own personal account on Gab is because we cannot trust organizations such as Facebook and Twitter.

"They are useful but have a long track record of censuring conservatives. After big tech essentially executed Parler by shutting down its infrastructure, we decided to join a platform that had a secure infrastructure and would not censure conservative voices.

"With President Trump being silenced across all big tech media and recently with conservative pundits such as Steven Crowder being banned on YouTube, platforms such as Gab present an opportunity for Republicans to express their opinions without fear of being repressed by left-wing corporate technocrats. Chairman West holds free speech as an essential American value, he just wishes that leftists felt the same."

This article has been updated with comment from the Texas GOP.

Allen West Gab account
A screenshot of Allen West's account on Gab. The chairman of the Texas GOP has posted five messages so far. Gab/Screenshot