Rep.-elect West says conservative talk radio host won't be his chief of staff

Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) announced Thursday that a controversial radio host would not serve as his chief of staff after all.

ADVERTISEMENT
West said in a statement that Joyce Kaufman, the conservative radio talk show host who he'd previously named to the top staff position in his office, would not be his chief of staff.

"It is with deep regret that this congressional office and the people of CD 22 will not have Joyce Kaufman as my chief of staff," West said in a statement. "Joyce is a good friend, and will remain loyal to South Floridians and to me. I will always seek Joyce's counsel for being a good representative of this congressional district."

Kaufman said on her radio show that she had called West on Wednesday evening to withdraw from consideration.

"I will not be used in an electronic lynching by proxy," she said, according to the Broward New Times, alluding to Supreme Court Justice's Clarence Thomas's complaint of facing a "high-tech lynching" at his confirmation hearing. (West, like Thomas, is black.)

Kaufman had found herself ensnared in controversy in the past for some of the statements she'd made on her radio show. On Tuesday, she called outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "garbage."

Updated 1:51 p.m.