For the first time since 1996, Congress will have not one but two black Republicans. Congressman-elect Allen West (R-FL) says he plans to join the Congressional Black Caucus. Congressman-elect Tim Scott (R-S.C.), having spent a year in South Carolina’s Black Legislative Caucus, is currently leaning against it.
Such a split would not be unusual. Congressman Gary Franks (R-CT) belonged to the CBC but fellow Rep. JC Watts (R-OK) declined to join. Franks lost a reelection bid in 1996 and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. Watts became chairman of the House Republican Conference and left Congress of his own accord after the 2002 elections.
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