Allen West fuming over Ron Klein's delayed phone call

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - He won the congressional seat, but Republican Allen West is fuming at what his former challenger, Democrat Ron Klein, did Thursday. "I found that very disrespectful, reprehensible," said West.

It's all about a phone call that didn't come for two days.

You may recall Allen West went on the stage to say he was headed to Washington as the congressman for his Palm Beach/Broward seat -- even before the election was called.

Congressman Ron Klein, the incumbent, never got a hold of him to concede until Thursday, and that has West hot under the collar. "Congressman Klein called me right before you walked up -- about 3:15."

Congressman-elect Allen West is seeing red, not just because he'll be joining so many of his Republican colleagues in Washington. It's because a concession call didn't come for two days after he beat Ron Klein out of office. "I found that very disrespectful, reprehensible. And the fact that he asked me how my family was doing, really upset me because all of the nasty things that he put out there that affected my family. I didn't appreciate that whatsoever."

To say the campaign was nasty is an understatement. But Klein told me over the phone, West has gotten his wires crossed. He explained he did not phone him election night because the race hadn't been called.

He goes on to say, "I tried calling him yesterday [Wednesday] twice. The message I got from his campaign was to call him after 7 p.m. So I called him at 7:15 p.m., and his voicemail was full. I called him one more time this [Thursday] morning before I finally got a hold of him this [Thursday] afternoon."

He says he tried reaching West to make sure the transition goes smoothly. He adds, "This is silly. Nobody has to make a call, and we tried to get a hold of him."

But after West got the call he was still "hung up" over Klein. "For whatever reason, he feels that I should still be responding to his agenda, his schedule. If he had a sense of character or honor, he would have done the right thing election night."

West says his staff will meet with Klein's staff next week to talk about a transition.

No word if the congressman and the congressman-elect will attend.

Copyright 2010 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.