Rep.-elect Allen West (pictured)
this week tapped a longtime Washington insider to be his chief of staff after the Florida Republican’s first choice, a conservative radio talk-show host, resigned over past on-air comments, the Palm Beach Post Reports
Jonathan Blyth, who has run congressional offices and worked in government agencies for more than 20 years, replaces Joyce Kaufman, an AM-dial personality in West’s southeastern Florida district who had no political background and lasted three days in the job.
West said he has “gone through great lengths to establish an experienced staff” in a statement on Thursday.
A tea party favorite whose fiery speeches became YouTube hits, the conservative African-American and political rookie ran on anti-Washington sentiment in a majority-white District and in November unseated a one-term Democrat. West is the first Black Republican elected to Congress in Florida since a former slave, Josiah Thomas Walls, in 1872.
West's latest staff picks, which include his former campaign manager and a campaign staffer, have invited still more media scrutiny: Press secretary Angela Sachitano was a television news reporter in southeastern Florida suspended by her bosses at the time for moonlighting as a West campaign consultant.
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