Magazine May 3, 2010, Issue

Colonel and Candidate

Col. Allen West (Darren Gygi)
Allen West makes waves in Florida, and elsewhere

There’s a congressional candidate in Florida whom a lot of Republicans are excited about. They have reason to be excited. The candidate is Col. Allen West, and he’s a true-blue Reaganite: a free marketeer, a hard-liner in foreign policy, an unapologetic social conservative. And he is not short on charisma. A video of one of his speeches “went viral” — attracted millions of viewers — and he was a star at CPAC — the Conservative Political Action Conference — in February. In this new technological age, congressional candidates can have national followings. West has one.

Moreover, for those who keep racial

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