Allen West Keeps His Own Political Future Alive by Shaping National GOP's

By: Jeff Henderson | Posted: August 13, 2014 3:55 AM
Allen West

Allen West

Allen West keeps hinting that he’ll run for future office and five congressional endorsements he made on Tuesday only raised more questions about what his future aspirations are. 

West announced on Tuesday he was backing four Republicans running for Congress: Will Hurd in Texas, Barry Loudermilk in Georgia, Lee Zeldin in New York and Ryan Zinke in Montana. But the biggest endorsement West offered Tuesday was for Joni Ernst, the Republican candidate looking to flip retiring Democrat Tom Harkin’s Senate seat in Iowa. All of West’s endorsements, like the former congressman, served in the armed forces.

Of course, Iowa is the home of the first presidential caucus. Since losing his seat in Congress to Democrat Patrick Murphy in 2012, West has hinted a few times that he could run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

West is also trying to spin why he lost to Murphy. Pointing to voter irregularities in St. Lucie County, West said the Florida GOP did nothing to help him in the aftermath of the contest. West also continues to pout that the GOP-controlled Legislature didn’t help him much with redistricting.

To be sure, the Legislature handed Tom Rooney a more secure district than West. But Rooney had seniority and West, to his credit, made no attempt to moderate his conservative views despite representing a swing district.

West helped seal his own fate in the closing days of the 2012 election by taking his eyes away from his district. Less than a month before the election, in the middle of October, West was far away from Florida, hitting the campaign trail in California. West might be a national star for conservatives but he needed to focus more on the home front. This is only confirmed by West’s choice to avenge him. Deciding against a rematch with Murphy, West threw his support to Ellen Andel who quickly dropped out of the race after she failed to raise adequate funds.

But despite losing in 2012 and not running this time out, West has gone out of his way to remain politically active, endorsing candidates and leaving the option of running for office again on the table. Murphy is looking much stronger than he did two years ago and West may opt out from running against his old foe again. But there are other options looming. A serious presidential bid seems a little out of reach, despite his backing of Ernst in Iowa. Still, West could certainly shape the national debate and running for president has been a good career move for plenty of Republican dark horses like Herman Cain and Mike Huckabee.

The Senate is more of a possibility and West could have his chances in the years to come. Marco Rubio has already said that if he runs for the presidency in 2016, he won’t look to stay in the Senate. West could also target a seat in 2018, whether or not Bill Nelson runs for a fourth term.

Regardless of where his path takes him in the future, as his announcement on Tuesday confirms, West shows no signs of going away. He will be looking to shape the political debate more to the right in the years to come.

Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

Comments (8)

9:44PM AUG 13TH 2014
Please run West, Dems need you!! You are the shining example why repubs are declining.

What we need are open primaries where hard right or left lose to moderates we really need.
7:14PM AUG 13TH 2014
Raise your hand if you believe someone like an Allen West or a Sarah Palin can actually convince someone moderate, or even someone left of themselves, to vote their way . . . . . . . thought not . . . . . spewing vile vitriol and hatred persuades no one . . . . . except those whose existence is already centered around vile vitriol and hatred as their way of life . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
Mary Westhoven
4:41PM AUG 13TH 2014
OH, And by the way, Mr. Browning, what a racist statement ....... you instructing a Black man to get involved on the local level with HIS people....... His people are American and he does not need you to instruct him on anything. And that includes Black teenaged pregnancy. Put your sheet away..... it is only afternoon.
Mary Westhoven
4:31PM AUG 13TH 2014
Charles Grande, age 73 elderly Democrat running for the board of one of the worst school systems in the country; Erik Brown, “took a Taco Bell burrito and threw it at a teenager’s face with force,” democrat, on welfare arrested…..Port St. Lucie; John Browning, the Florida Transportation Commission; and Darlene Ennis, Black, unemployed single mother of twelve.

Quite an interesting set of trolls. One guy running for office --- school board no less; an appointee of the governor; a criminal and a bored old chick………
Charles Grande
2:43PM AUG 13TH 2014
What most of us in Florida are wishing is that his path would take him out of our state. He simply give us a bad name. On the other hand, his endorsement should influence the troglodyte vote.
erik brown
9:29AM AUG 13TH 2014
West is a Sarah Palin in drag a nut ball
John Browning
8:30AM AUG 13TH 2014
What a bunch of BS!! Who in any of those states congressional districts that would be supporting the candidates he endorsed would know who West is or care if he endorsees anybody. He lost after one term in Congress to an unknown democrat!! He should get involved on the local level with his people to stop teen pregnancy, and work to reverse the generational poverty dilemma facing the black community!!
Darlene Ennis
6:49AM AUG 13TH 2014
I would not vote for him if it he was the last person on earth!!!

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