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Congressman Allen West        

Distinguished Conservative Thought Leader; Highly Decorated Military Veteran; Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis

Allen Bernard West is an American political commentator, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, West represented Florida's 22nd congressional district in the House from 2011 to 2013.

West was born in Georgia and joined the United States Army in 1983. He was deployed to Kuwait in 1991 and Iraq in 2003. In 2003, West was charged in an incident that involved the beating and simulated execution of an Iraqi policeman. After an Article 32 hearing was held, West accepted non-judicial punishment, was fined $5,000, and allowed to retire as a lieutenant colonel.

After leaving the military, he and his family moved to Florida, where he taught at a high school for a year and worked for a defense contractor, part of this time spent in Afghanistan as a civilian adviser to the Afghan National Army. West entered politics in 2008 as the Republican nominee for Florida's 22nd congressional district in 2008, losing to Democratic incumbent Ron Klein. In a re-match in 2010, he won the seat, coinciding with significant Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections.

West took office in January 2011 as the first African-American Republican Congressman from Florida since Josiah T. Walls left office in 1876 near the end of Reconstruction. In Congress, West served on the Armed Services and Small Business Committees and was a high-profile member of the Tea Party Caucus and the Tea Party movement.

Redistricting due to the 2010 census resulted in West switching to Florida's 18th congressional district for the 2012 House elections. He lost by 2,146 votes to Democratic nominee Patrick Murphy in what would turn out to be the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history to date. After a recount extended Murphy's lead, the original results were certified and West conceded to Murphy on November 20, 2012. He is a contributor for Fox News and his first book, Guardian of the Republic, was published in April 2014.

West and his family moved to Texas after he became CEO of the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis in January 2015.

West is a Life and Endowment Member of the National Rifle Association (NRA). In May 2016, he announced that he had been elected as a member of the NRA Board of Directors for a three-year term.

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