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Former Rep. Allen West gets two votes for House speaker

by George Bennett | January 3rd, 2013

West

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West of Palm Beach Gardens lost his November reelection bid, but he snagged two votes for speaker of the House when the newly seated 113th Congress selected its leader today.

There is no requirement that the speaker be a member of the House.

Reps. Paul Broun, R-Ga., and Louie Gohmert, R-Tex., voted for West, joining seven other Republicans who voted for someone other than John Boehner. Boehner — criticized by some Republicans for supporting a “fiscal cliff” deal that broke the GOP’s anti-tax pledge and didn’t rein in entitlement spending — got 220 votes to retain his speakership.

West, who voted against the fiscal cliff deal, is in Phoenix today with his family to watch tonight’s Fiesta Bowl between Kansas State and Oregon. West got a Master’s degree in political science at Kansas State and his wife earned a bachelor’s degree there.

West called the speaker votes “humbling” but said “I don’t think anything about it. I’m out here for a football game.”

West was elected in 2010 to Palm Beach-Broward District 22, but after redistricting he ran in adjacent District 18. Democrat Lois Frankel won the District 22 seat and Patrick Murphy edged West in District 18. Murphy and Frankel were both sworn in today.

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