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.)