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Allen attended Auburn University and earned a degree in building construction. He is the founder of R.W. Allen and Associates, a construction company headquartered in Augusta.
U.S. House of Representatives
Allen ran in the Republican primary for the 12th district against three other candidates. Allen advanced to the runoff, but lost to State Representative Lee Anderson, 49.7% to 50.3%. Anderson went on to lose the general election to incumbent John Barrow.
Allen ran again in 2014, this time making it to the general election. Allen defeated Barrow in the November election, in a result considered an upset even though the 12th district had been made significantly more Republican in redistricting.
Allen was re-elected with 62% of the vote in 2016.
After winning the Republican primary with 75.99% of the vote, Allen faced off in the 2018 general election against Democratic challenger, lawyer and pastor Francys Johnson.
During a closed-door Republican meeting discussing an amendment that prohibited discrimination against LGBT workers, Allen read a Bible verse that says about homosexuals "they which commit such things are worthy of death." Allen told the assembled Republicans that they are "going to Hell" if they vote for the proposed anti-discrimination amendment.
After dozens were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Allen offered prayers to the family of the victims but refused to apologize or retract his past comments stating that homosexuals were "worthy of death."