Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., is getting back in the political arena as he resumes a larger role with the Guardian Fund PAC he founded.
West announced this week that he was returning to politics though his PAC.
“I don't like what I see in Washington. The swamp stinks,” West wrote in an email sent out on Tuesday. "I remain loyal to this Republic, and I will not remain silent. In the coming weeks, you'll be hearing a lot more from me. After taking a short leave from the Guardian Fund – I'm back. I'm back with a tenacity like you've never seen.”
West also released an online video in which he showcased his record in the Army--in which he rose to lieutenant colonel--and his efforts to advance conservatism as a congressman and as a candidate. In the video, West noted that there are less veterans in Congress now than there have been in recent decades.
In the video, West called for more veterans and conservatives in Congress, including Republican U.S. Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Joni Ernst of Iowa. He also called for supporting more African-Americans and Hispanic conservatives like Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and U.S. Rep. Mia Love of Utah.
“I fight for liberty, freedom, individual sovereignty, free market/free enterprise economic policy, and peace through strength – constitutional conservatism,” West wrote. “We need these principles on Capitol Hill. I have committed the Guardian Fund to seek out constitutional conservatives who are either veterans or minorities, and who we can count on to defend our core principles, and do go all-in on guiding them to victory.”
After more than two decades of decorated service in the Army, West ran for Congress in 2008, losing to Democrat Ron Klein. Two years later, West beat Klein in a rematch. Despite becoming a favorite of conservatives at the national level, West was defeated in 2012 by Democrat Patrick Murphy. Since then, West’s name has garnered buzz as a possible U.S. Senate candidate but he hasn’t run for office.
In November 2014, West announced that he was moving to Texas to become CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a conservative think tank based out of Dallas. Following his decision to take over at NCPA, West left the Guardian Fund PAC. Back in January 2015, West turned the PAC over to U.S. Rep. Barry Lourdermilk, R-Ga. to lead it.
Two months ago, the NCPA announced that financial problems ensured the group would be shutting down with its board voting to close shop.
“The thirty-four year old free market think tank has made significant contributions to free-market public policy research and implementation, including Health Savings Accounts, Roth IRAs, automatic enrollment in 401ks, and ongoing work in the areas of taxes, health-care, entitlements, economic development, energy and national security,” the NCPA emailed the media in July. “The decision to leave the world of think tanks comes after the organization has faced significant financial challenges over the last three years.”
“I joined the NCPA in January 2015 and was able to raise nearly $900K to support our conservative free market policy analysis. NCPA had done phenomenal work expanding from its historic success in healthcare policy into more tax, economic growth, and national security policy,” West posted on Facebook after the NCPA announced it was closing. “However, even with a superb history and other outstanding policy work focused on individual liberty and conservative economic opportunity policy, times are strained for the 501c(3) non-profit world. Not to mention there were some issues with conservative organizations being targeted during the Obama tenure.”
Barely a year after he joined, West was out as CEO of the group, taking over as executive director and vice chairman of the board of directors so he could focus on policy. In January 2016, the NCPA turned James Amos, Jr., the former CEO of Mail Boxes Etc. and the past chairman of the International Franchise Association, to serve as president and CEO. The NCPA noted at the time that West “is taking on a more active policy role" as executive director, vice chairman of the board and will be a spokesman.
NCPA Board Chairman Steve Ivy praised both Amos and West when the new assignments were announced.
“Jim Amos brings a wealth of free-market business expertise and leadership that will support the NCPA’s mission to promote alternatives to government regulation and solve problems through the competitive, private sector,” Ivy said. “We are thrilled to have him at the helm.”
“Col. West is in great demand as a speaker nationwide with about 150 presentations in the past year,” Ivy continued. “This reorganization enables him to continue as a face and voice of the organization, focus on economic and national security policy issues, and lead the NCPA’s fundraising initiatives.”
West opened the door to returning to the Guardian Fund and politics in July when the NCPA shut its doors.
“I look forward to continued writing, speaking, and advancing conservative policy solutions for our constitutional republic,” West noted. “As well, I can now assist military and minority conservatives once again to attain political office by resurrecting my involvement with the Guardian Fund…and possibly explore my own future political possibilities.”