British-born Man Runs for House From Several States

Here’s one of the weirder political stories I’ve read. A man born in the UK but now a naturalized American citizen, Allan Levene, really, really wants to be in the House of Representatives. And he doesn’t care where he’s elected as he’s running in two different states (and tried to run from four).

Allan Levene is what you might call a way outside-the-Beltway candidate. That’s not just because he is British-born and grew up in West Ham, on London’s dodgy East End, playing in the rubble of bombed-out buildings leveled by the Blitz. Or because he’s running for Congress in Hawaii’s 1st congressional district, 5,000 miles away from Washington. It’s also because Levene is running for Congress in Georgia’s 11th district (where he lives) and tried to mount runs from Minnesota’s 6th, Michigan’s 8th and Michigan’s 14th districts—all in the same election cycle.

So far as anyone can tell, Levene is the first person in the history of the Republic to run for Congress in multiple states simultaneously. If that sounds illegal, it isn’t. The Constitution requires only that a candidate for the House be at least 25 years old, hold U.S. citizenship for at least seven years and reside in a state at the time he or she is elected to represent it. The FEC has weighed in, and Levene can go ahead with his campaigns, as long as he raises funds separately in each state.

Of course, now that he’s passed muster with the regulators, he still has to face voters, and winning them over will be a harder task. Citing logistical issues and charges of carpetbagging—to say nothing of his unusual views—political observers have written off his chances. And a poll conducted in late March found he had just 0.3 percent support in the six-way Georgia Republican primary, though two-thirds of the participants remained undecided. Given the long odds, what would compel someone to take on not just one but multiple congressional campaigns?

Levene, driven by premonitions of economic doom and a naturalized citizen’s love of his adopted country, is just unconventional enough to try. And the campaign he’s running is so shot-through with urgency, so indifferent to political orthodoxy that you have to believe a Congressman Levene would shake up Washington. “I’m doing this in parallel, not in series,” he says, as if his political career were a math problem. He’s multiplied his chances of winning, but now he’s down to two shots—and even that almost certainly isn’t enough.

Of course it isn’t enough. He’s got no shot at being elected, I’m sure. But what a bizarre story.

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  • countryboy

    I admire his dedication and guts if nothing else

  • dean

    This story was on NPR a couple months ago. It was strange then and no less so now.

  • eric

    He’s running in GA as a Republican…what about Hawaii? I thought that was pretty much a one-party state, and if you weren’t Democrat, you had no chance.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    —to say nothing of his unusual views—

    I’d like to hear something about them

  • raven

    It’s not that unusual for an elected official to be foreign born.

    The previous governor of California was an Austrian, Arnold Scharzenegger. And one time the Lieutenant governor was from New Zealand.

  • petemoulton

    No shot at being elected, Ed? I’d have said the same about Louie Gohmert or Darrell Issa, and look where we are now.

  • dogmeat

    He’s a bit looney as far as I can see.

  • arakasi

    I would be interested to see if his campaign platform in Georgia contradicts his Hawai’i platform, since I don’t see the same positions working in both states. maybe if he ran as a Georgia Democrat and a Hawai’i Republican.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Politico: Levene, who is Jewish, has also called for the creation of a “New Israel,”a sliver of land on Texas’s Gulf Coast that would be set aside as sovereign Israeli territory to complement the old Israel in the Middle East.

    Who lives there now, and did he bother to ask them what they think of his idea?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Politico: Foremost among his proposals to stave off this scenario is the elimination of the corporate income tax, which he says would create a “gold rush” as American businesses repatriated cash and the United States eventually became a global tax haven.

    I have a problem with this. Corporations are accumulating more and more rights formerly reserved for living “persons.” If they are to have the rights of persons, why would they be exempted from taxes?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Politico: Levene, who disclaims, “I am not an economist,” predicts that scrapping the tax would create a windfall so big that a replacement tax would be unnecessary. “It would do magic, that’s spelled M-A-G-I-C, for our economy,” he tells me. “I don’t do hyperbole.” Later, he adds, “I will provide almost limitless jobs.”


  • dingojack

    Reginald Selkirk – Pffft! Details.

    That never concerned them in the least the first time round, so why change now?.


  • eric

    Re: Levene’s plans as described in @10 and @11: South Dakota and Washington both have no corporate income tax. While they aren’t appreciably worse than other states, I don’t see any gold rush, or m-a-g-i-c, or almost limitless jobs.

  • billdaniels

    On the bright side, any money donated to him is money not given to more viable RWNJs.