Allen West in High Cotton (Tom Cotton, that is) in Arkansas
Around the State
As he looks to keep a seat at the political table, former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., is getting involved in one of the most competitive Senate contests of the 2014 election cycle.
On Thursday, West went to bat for U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who is taking on U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in 2014. With Arkansas trending Republican, the GOP has high hopes of winning the race and it’s increasingly looking like a crucial race to chip away at Democratic control of the Senate. West endorsed Cotton back in early October, praising him as a “hard-chargng conservative.”
West emailed supporters on Thursday after Democrats called out Cotton on ethics earlier this week. Democrats have filed an ethics complaint against Cotton for campaigning in a federal building after an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show.
On Thursday, West dismissed the attacks on Cotton as proof that the Arkansas Republican is gaining momentum and Democrats are afraid of his chances of knocking off Pryor.
“Tom is a rising star in the Republican Party and without a doubt one of the brightest spots in American politics today,” West emailed supporters on Thursday. “The left knows they're in grave danger of losing control in the Senate if they can't defend this seat, so they're already gunning for Tom. More than a year before Election Day, the Democrat establishment is running ads smearing Tom's record in Congress with lies and trying desperately to destroy his character.”
West insisted his Allen West Guardian Fund PAC is “building up an arsenal to defeat the left's attacks against Tom and all of our endorsed candidates, and our goal is to raise $250,000 online between now and the end of the year.”
West pointed to Cotton’s military experience as a reason Republicans and conservatives should support him.
“To say America needs Tom -- and more like him -- in the United States Senate to do battle with Harry Reid is an understatement,” West insisted. “That's precisely why the liberal fundraising machine is already funneling money into Arkansas to destroy Tom on the airwaves. Trust me -- they're ready and willing to invest millions in this race. Tom is going to need the help of conservatives nationwide to come out on top.”
As West raises his profile in the Diamond State, Arkansas Democrats have shown no hesitation in going after him. After West endorsed Cotton on Oct. 9, the state Democratic Party labelled him as a “radical former congressman from Florida” who is supporting “Tom Cotton and his reckless agenda for Arkansas.” Arkansas Democrats even offered an interactive quiz for quotes, offering a choice of either Cotton or West for each controversial statement.
Congressman Cotton and Allen West share the same narrow political views and blind ambitions, so it's no wonder Congressman Cotton has found an irresponsible ally in Allen West,” the state Democratic Party insisted. “On women's rights, Medicare and Social Security, Tom Cotton and Allen West are too reckless for Arkansas.”
West, a favorite of the tea party movement, has opened the door to a political comeback in 2016.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.