Posted by DaveWade on Jan 6th, 2011
Representative Allen West becomes the first Republican member of the all-Democratic Congressional Black Caucus in fourteen years. The last Republican member of the black lawmakers’ group is Representative Gary A. Franks of Connecticut, who left office in 1997.
Representative Allen West is a former Army lieutenant and represents Florida’s southeast coast. He stated that there were 42 blacks that ran on the Republican ticket this year and fourteen went through the general election. Only two of them were elected to join the House of Representatives. Representative Timothy E. Scott of South Carolina was also elected into office last November but he refused to join the group.
Democrat Representative Emmanuel Cleaver of Missouri was sworn in as the black caucus chairman. During his inaugural speech, he said that the caucus is still relevant in this day and age. In the 112th Congress, the group has 43 members.
Both Representatives West and Scott were virtual unknowns two years ago but they rose in the Republican ranks. Their campaigns were all about the denouncement of everything the Democrats supported or accomplished, with no other than former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin endorsing them. They got little support from the black voters but managed to win a Congressional seat. People are expecting Representative West’s relationship with the other members of the Black Caucus to be shaky.