Allen West was one of only two black Republicans in the House of Representatives during the 112th Congress before losing his re-election bid in November. Now he wants to change the GOP image as the party of “old white stodgy guys.”
West narrowly lost to Democrat Patrick Murphy in a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast district. He has ruled out a 2014 rematch but told supporters Thursday that he hopes to send other black and minority conservatives to Congress through a new PAC he launched called the Allen West Guardian Fund.
At the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington, more than 300 people turned out for a reception promoting the new PAC and a new, separate nonprofit organization called The Allen West Foundation.
“If we’re going to change the image of this party, dad gummit, it starts right here,” West said at the reception. “There is nothing more disconcerting to liberal progressives than minority conservatives.”
The PAC aims to recruit a dozen conservative candidates who are minorities or military veterans. West is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.
The foundation, which received $250,000 left over from West’s congressional campaign, is a 501(c)4 organization aimed at “educating and inspiring the next generation of conservative leaders within the minority and veteran communities nationwide.”