Election 2012: From Allen West to Mia Love — a bad night for black Republicans

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Florida Rep. Allen West (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Florida Rep. Allen West (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

While President Barack Obama and supporters celebrated his victorious win last night, black politicians in the Republican Party were experiencing less luck in their race for Congress.

This election season has turned out to be a stark contrast from a party that touted African-American politicians like Michael Steele and Herman Cain in the last couple of years. Of the three black candidates the GOP favored this year, two did not secure a victory.

There were high expectations for Mia Love’s candidacy for a U.S. House seat, but the mayor of Saratoga Spring, Utah lost in a close race against incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson for the state’s 4th district. Had she won, Love would have become the first black Republican congresswoman in history.

Love, a Mormon and the daughter of Haitian immigrants, kicked off her race for Congress in January, gaining steam as a rising star and cinching the Republican nomination. Her brief speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa garnered even more attention and put her in the nation’s spotlight.

She quickly became her party’s face of diversity and most polls leading up to Election Night showed her in the lead. But when results came in last night, Love had lost by a slim 3,000 votes.

Controversial Tea Party favorite Allen West lost his campaign for re-election this morning against Democrat Patrick Murphy, though West has still refused to concede.

His reputation for outrageous comments during his two years in office overshadowed his bid for Florida’s 22nd congressional district.

West waged a considerably brutal race against his opponent this year, most notably using a 10-year-old mugshot of Murphy in one of his political ads. He also made news this election season after he accused President Obama of wanting to make Americans slaves.

There is, however, a bright spot in the Republican Party’s otherwise dim showcase of diversity. Rep. Tim Scott, the first black Republican to represent South Carolina in the House in years, will be heading back to Washington after winning in the state’s 1st congressional district with 65 percent of the vote.

TheGrio’s Perry Bacon, Jr. has said part of Scott’s appeal is that he portrays a non-controversial and camera hungry image, unlike those of Steele’s and Cain’s.

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