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Allen West (R-Fla.)

U.S. Representative (since January 2011)

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Why He Matters

Two years after losing to Rep. Ron Klein (D) in Florida's closely-divided 22nd House district, West rode the enthusiastic support of tea-party activists to defeat the Democrat in the 2010 midterm elections.

West, who has described himself as a "right-wing extremist," became one of the 2010 cycle's top fundraisers after a series of fiery speeches and inflammatory statements made him a hero in conservative circles. He called on citizens to rise against a "tyrannical" government, denied Islam is a religion and accused liberals of "enslaving" Americans rather than empowering them.

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Column

Vampires, RINOs and things that go bump in the night

(Tom Toles)

In Florida, politics again take a strange turn.

County board grants Rep. Allen West's recount request

A Florida judge on Friday denied Rep. Allen West's (R-Fla.) request to recount ballots in St. Lucie County, dealing another setback to the congressman's effort to overcome an apparent defeat in last Tuesday's election.

Florida Rep. Allen West concedes

THE FIX | The outspoken Republican congressman from Florida will leave Congress after a single term.

Column

Who had the worst week in Washington? Rep. Allen West.

(JIM WATSON / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

He won the legal battle only to lose the electoral war.

Race between Allen West and Patrick Murphy focuses on the past

#5in5 | Past indiscretions are topic of a nasty race between a tea party leader and a first-time candidate.

Ex-Rep. Allen West: Holder is bigger threat than al-Qaeda

Former congressman Allen West (R-Fla.), who is no stranger to bold claims, may have outdone himself.

 
 

At a Glance

  • Career History: Military contractor for MPRI (2005-2007), High-school teacher (2004-2005), Army officer (1982-2004)
  • Birthday: February 7, 1961
  • Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Alma Mater: B.A. from University of Tennessee, Master's in political science from Kansas State University, Master of Military Arts and Sciences from U.S. Army Commnad and General Staff Officer College
  • Spouse: Angela West
  • Religion: Christian
  • DC Office: 1708 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515; Phone: (202) 225-3026; Fax: (202) 225-8398
 

Path To Power

West was raised in a military household in Atlanta. He graduated from the University of Tennessee before obtaining two master's degrees, the first in political science from Kansas State University and the second in military arts from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Upon enlisting, he spent 22 years in the Army, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He served in the Gulf War, and in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, earning a Bronze Star and three Meritorious Service Medals.

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The Issues

West argues liberal policies result in enslaving citizens by making them dependent on goverment help and creating a culture of victimhood and welfare. He contrasts this to the conservative reliance on the private sector, which he says empowers individuals and serves as the country's true economic motor.

"We have a class warfare that's going on. We have a producing class and you've got an entitlement class," he said in a 2009 speech. "These people are living amongst us," he added of the latter group.

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The Network

In his 2010 House race, West has attracted support from prominent conservatives, most notably former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart has said he believes West is "presidential material."

 

Additional Resources

  1. Cavallero, Gina, "From controversy to candidacy," Army Times, January 7, 2008
  2. Francis, Thomas, "'President Allen West': Yes, Andrew Breitbart Likes the Sound of That Very Much," Broward Palm Beach, September 15, 2010
  3. Frank, Thomas, "Army Commander Fined for Threat," Newsday, December 14, 2003
  4. "The Joyce Kaufman Show Florida D22 Candidate Debate," YouTube, June 2, 2010
  5. West, Allen, "Empowerment or enslavement," Atlas Shrugs, October 17, 2009
  6. "Meet Allen West," Political Correction, August 19, 2010
  7. McCarthy, Andy, "Allen West on the Ground Zero Mosque," The National Review, August 5, 2010
  8. "Ex-G.I. candidate finds election battle all too real," New York Daily News, July 28, 2008
  9. Leary, Alex, "Tea party favorite Allen West gunning for Ron Klein's seat," St. Petersburg Times, September 27, 2010
  10. Edmonson, George, "Reprimand may spur retirement," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 11, 2003
  11. Sherman, Amy, "Rematch of rivals Allen West and Ron Klein likely to be closer," The Miami Herald, September 6, 2010
  12. Edmonson, George, "Iraq vet fined, allowed to retire," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 13, 2003 and Bennett, George, "Path to reelection steeper for Klein," Palm Beach Post, September 12, 2010
  13. "Decision 2010: Louisiana results," MSNBC, November 2, 2010
  14. Allen West Campaign website, "Restoring American Exceptionalism," retrieved on September 20th
  15. Sherman, Amy, "West says nearly half of Americans pay no taxes," St. Petersburg Times, April 28, 2010; Man, Anthony, "Congressional candidates Ron Klein and Allen West far apart on style, issues," Sun Sentinel, September 19, 2010 and Allen West Campaign website, "Restoring American Exceptionalism," retrieved on September 20th
  16. Bennett, George, "Klein challenger ready for Fray," Palm Beach Post, November 5, 2007
  17. Man, Anthony, "Supporters say West to oust Klein," Sun-Sentinel, November 30, 2007
  18. Cavallero, Gina, "From controversy to candidacy," Army Times, January 7, 2008; O'Connor, Laura, "Army officer who threatened prisoner addresses luncheon," Palm Beach Post, May, 28, 2004 and Sontag, Deborah, "How Colonel Risked His Career by Menacing Detainee and Lost," The New York Times, May 27, 2004
  19. Man, Anthony, "Congressional candidates Ron Klein and Allen West far apart on style, issues," Sun Sentinel, September 19, 2010
  20. Zornick, George, "GOP Candidate Allen West: People With 'Coexist' Bumper Stickers Want To 'Give Away Our Country'," Think Progress, August 18, 2010
  21. Sherman, Amy, "Rematch of rivals Allen West and Ron Klein likely to be closer," The Miami Herald, September 6, 2010 and Man, Anthony, "Congressional candidates Ron Klein and Allen West far apart on style, issues," Sun Sentinel, September 19, 2010
  22. Bennet, George, "Klein denounces rival's spicy rhetoric," Palm Beach Post, September 13, 2010
  23. "LTC Allen West on Illegal Immigration," YouTube, May 18, 2010 and "Meet Allen West," Political Correction, August 19, 2010
  24. Bennett, George, "Path to reelection steeper for Klein," Palm Beach Post, September 12, 2010
  25. Frank, Thomas, "Army Commander Fined for Threat," Newsday, December 14, 2003; Sontag, Deborah, "How Colonel Risked His Career by Menacing Detainee and Lost," The New York Times, May 27, 2004 and Francis, Thomas, "Allen West Video Whitewashes Brutal Interrogation of Iraqi Detainee," Broward Palm Beach, August 2, 2010
  26. "Congressional Candidate LTC Allen West At The Revolution / American Freedom Tour," YouTube, video posted on October 21, 2009
  27. Man, Anthony, "Ron Klein labels his opponent's policies 'radical, ," Sun-Sentinel, July 14, 2010
  28. Bennet, George, "Klein denounces rival's spicy rhetoric," Palm Beach Post, September 13, 2010 and Bennett, George, "Path to reelection steeper for Klein," Palm Beach Post, September 12, 2010
  29. "Allen West on Savage," YouTube, posted April 20, 2009