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West is Florida's first black GOP Congressman in more than century

Allen West is Florida's first black GOP Congressman since Josiah Thomas Walls, a former slave who served in Congress in the 1870s.

West didn't mention his race much during the campaign in the Broward/Palm Beach Congressional district 22 where less than 5 percent of the voters are black.

"The most important thing is to be a good Congressman,'' said West, who added that he is happy to be Florida's first black Republican member of Congress since Reconstruction.

West's said his first priority will be to improve the economy -- he favors a flat tax on personal income, reducing the corporate tax rate and extending all of the Bush tax cuts.

West was far ahead in a district that voted for President Barack Obama just two years ago.

"The rhetoric of hope and change has run out,'' said West.

When asked what he expected his relationship would be like with Obama he said: "I don't know. You have to ask the President."

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