Allen West, a retired Army Lt. Colonel and an African American conservative, is making his second attempt to take away the Congressional seat in the Florida 22nd District from Democrat Ron Klein. Allen West was recently on Hannity to make his case.
Ron Klein won the Congressional seat narrowly in 2006 from then long term Congressman Clay Shaw, boosted by discontent over the Iraq War and the Mark Foley scandal. Klein beat Allen West in 2008 about fifty five to forty five percent. Barack Obama carried the district that year by 52 percent. The 22nd District is considered slightly majority Democrat and is predominately white.
Allen West has garnered some national attention thanks to a speech he delivered in October, called by some the “Revolution Speech” in which he laid down the principles of the campaign he intends to wage in 2010. The video of the speech has gone viral on YouTube and has enjoyed over a million hits so far. The video also seems to have attracted the attention of Sean Hannity, and hence Allen West’s appearance on the Hannity TV show Tuesday.
Allen West’s earlier, 2008 campaign, is said to have been hampered by lack of funds and time. The appearance on Hannity is almost certain to motivate conservatives to contribute to Allen West’s campaign fund.
Allen West’s issue stances seem to be conventionally conservative. He is in favor of a flat tax, in favor of spending cuts, is against illegal immigration, believes in market based solutions to health care, and is a strong supporter of the State of Israel.
If elected, Allen West will become one of the few African American Republicans to serve in Congress in modern times. A political fact of life in the United States is that African Americans tend to be overwhelmingly Democrats, especially on the national level, especially in the era of Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States. The occasional African American Republican such as Allen West, former Congressman J.C. Watts, and RNC Chair Michael Steele has not served to break that monopoly. Thus African Americans are in the unenviable position of having one party (the Democrats) who take them for granted and another party (the Republicans) who have largely written them off as a potential source of votes.
Can Allen West win this time? It is entirely possible. The climate for Republicans in 2010 will be more favorable than it was in 2006 or 2008. There is every possibility that Allen West could be swept into office in the wave of Republicans many expect to be elected next year.
Sources: Allen West for US Congress 2010
Broward candidate gets to make his pitch on Fox’s Hannity show, Anthony Man, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, December 15th, 2009