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Rep. Allen West Announces That He Will Switch Districts

I just received a press release from the Allen West campaign.  It announces that he will abandon his current (significantly redrawn) House district and instead run in the (re-drawn) 18th district.  That district largely overlaps with the current 16th district, which is currently represented by Republican  Tom Rooney.  Rooney announced earlier that he will run in the newly re-drawn 17th district.

The following is a portion of West’s press release.

After much prayer, reflection and discussion with my close friends and family, I am announcing today my decision to seek reelection in Florida’s proposed 18th Congressional district.  I have always believed the state of Florida would be best served by having both Congressman Tom Rooney and myself in the House of Representatives working to solve our nation’s most pressing problems.  I have never waivered from my vision; to work to create jobs, restrain federal government spending, reduce America’s ever increasing national debt, and provide for a strong national defense to ensure a safer and more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren. 

Congressman Rooney is a statesman and has been an honorable public servant to the constituents of Florida’s 16th Congressional district.  It is my goal to continue the success Congressman Rooney has had in Florida’s 16th Congressional district in the newly proposed 18th district.  I welcome the challenges and excitement that lie ahead.  

Here‘s an essay on the Washington Post’s blog, The Fix.

I think the decision by West is wise.  His current district has been redrawn to make it more Democratic.  Specifically, under its current boundaries, it voted “+1 D,” meaning that in the 2008 election it supported Obama one percentage more than the country as a whole.  The district under its new boundaries is “+5 D.”  While I believe that he could handily win his current district in this year’s election, in a future “wave” election year that strongly favored Democrats, he’d have a difficult time keeping it.  He’s a great asset for the conservative cause.  I want to keep him in Congress.

(Disclosure: While I’ve long been a fan of West, I became an even bigger fan last Spring, when he wrote a blurb for my book.)

  1. Xennady
    J. D. Fitzpatrick

    Careful with the conspiracy theories. It seems that Florida’s new redistricting law is the prime culprit here. Here’s the quote:

    I’m not buying it.

    Do you think they would simply come out and say they wanted West gone?

    Of course not. So they claim they could do nothing to stop the inexorable forces of perfidy bearing down upon Allen West, because it was totally out of their hands, even though they were the people drawing the districts.

    Hogwash. I don’t believe this anymore than I believe the Virginia GOP had to throw Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich off the ballot because of a lawsuit that hadn’t reached court.

    Rep. West was and is a threat to the GOP establishment, and it doesn’t surprise me at all to see that establishment attempt to kneecap him- complete with the usual clumsy and incompetent excuse as to why it wasn’t responsible for what happened.

    Business as usual, in other words- betrayal mixed with incompetence.

  2. Xennady

    Good for him.

    It speaks volumes about the loathsome GOP establishment that they deliberately redrew his district in an attempt to end his political career.

    I look forward to contributing to his campaign- again. I look forward to shredding any fundraising letters from the party that stabbed him in the back.

    Especially if they come from Mittens.

  3. Sisyphus

    Glad to see this appropriately resolved. Allen West is a huge plus for the GOP and the nation.

  4. David Williamson

    Good luck to him. He’d make a fine VP or Defense Secretary.

  5. Chris Johnson

    As to machinations, which probably occured, the Romney faction is a very unlikely source.  You need look no further than the loathsome Mike Haridopolous, the FL Senate President.  This goes back, in part, to Haridopolous seeking to challenge for Bill Nelson’s seat in the upcoming US Senate race; Haridopolous did not get the support in the GOP primary he desired.  He is not pleased.  Now the GOP has Connie Mack and Adam Hasner to choose from, or George LeMieux (moderate), all infintely preferable to the wallflower in the FL Senate.

  6. Chris Johnson

    Update:  It looks as if the challenge to Bill Nelson just became more straightforward, as Adam Hasner may be droppping out to run for West’s former seat in congress.

  7. Noesis Noeseos

    Allen West would make a better president than any of the contenders, but I agree with him that it is not yet his time.  He has Newt’s command of the spoken word and his essentially conservative fire but without an infatuation with ideas that stretch beyond the prudence of a conservative mind.  West is a patriot who, also more than those contenders, would in practice put the good of the nation above party-parochialism or self-aggrandizement.  For now I hope he will be chosen to continue his service in the House.

  8. CoolHand

    Huzzah!

    Now that’s how you roll with the punches.

    Both he and Rooney look like they might sidestep them line drawing fellers yet.

  9. J. D. Fitzpatrick
    Xennady: Good for him.

    It speaks volumes about the loathsome GOP establishment that they deliberately redrew his district in an attempt to end his political career.

    Edited 1 hour ago

    Careful with the conspiracy theories. It seems that Florida’s new redistricting law is the prime culprit here. Here’s the quote:

    I can’t speak to the FL legislature’s motives, but it is nearly impossible to craft an R-leaning, non-Cuban district in SE FL under the current laws and comply with the Fair Districts Act. West’s current district runs up and down the Gold Coast, stretching inland in arms to gobble up Republican-leaning areas. It’s pretty thorough, and even then it is a swing district. Under Fair Districts, the Republican legislature can’t do that anymore. In fact, it is arguably stretching what it can do under the current iteration of West’s district. . .

  10. Brian Clendinen

     No in the long run it is a good idea. West has a better chance of staying in congress for a lot longer by switching districts.

    @CJRun

    I really don’t know what your issue is with Haridopolous. He is pretty conservative in my book. Of course I am pissed the leadership did not have the guts  to fight the racist gerrymandering laws that force lines to be drawm to make minority districts or aka democratic districts. I can’t blame them because every other conservative state legislator (beside Texas) does not have the balls to fight it either.

  11. Lucy Pevensie
    Careful with the conspiracy theories. It seems that Florida’s new redistricting law is the prime culprit here. Here’s the quote:

    I can’t speak to the FL legislature’s motives, but it is nearly impossible to craft an R-leaning, non-Cuban district in SE FL under the current laws and comply with the Fair Districts Act. West’s current district runs up and down the Gold Coast, stretching inland in arms to gobble up Republican-leaning areas. It’s pretty thorough, and even then it is a swing district. Under Fair Districts, the Republican legislature can’t do that anymore. In fact, it is arguably stretching what it can do under the current iteration of West’s district. . .

    I followed your link.  The part that you quote was essentially a postscript, offered in the form of an email from Sean Trende of RCP.  Most of the rest of the very long HotAir piece argues that this was a deliberate sabotage, although the exact source of the animus against West is apparently controversial.  It may well be that Trende is right and the rest of the piece is wrong, but the piece doesn’t really draw conclusions. 

  12. Crow

    Had a feeling that Rep. West wouldn’t just go quietly into the gentle night. We need his voice, and many like it, in Congress this coming session.

  13. Chris Johnson

    Well, it’s inside FL baseball stuff, but I would consider H. more of a pro-business type, than a conservative; he seems to like government, as long as he’s a part of the power-wielding and hasn’t been a staunch supporter of Governor Scott’s more ambitious efforts to downsize.  Also, H. is a part of the group that pushed to move the FL primary up to January, costing us half of our dlegates to the convention, plus other penalities still being decided upon.

    Also, on a more personal (?) level, his conduct with respect to getting paid to write that history of FL government nonsense is infamous.  It screams shennanigans.

    West could have held 22 had it not been so dramatically altered.

    Seems to me the Rs just needlessly lost a seat in the House.