Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, who has opened the door to a political comeback in 2016, offered a round of endorsements to Republicans across the country on Wednesday as he looks to remain a force in the GOP and with conservatives across the nation.
A favorite of the tea party, West won a seat in Congress in 2010 as Republicans took back the House from Democrats. In 2012, West lost to Democrat Patrick Murphy in a close election. Since then, West has remained active with the conservative movement and has said he could run for the U.S. Senate in 2016 if U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., runs for the presidency.
Earlier in the year, West promised to back conservatives in the upcoming elections and, on Wednesday, the former congressman offered his backing to four Republicans.
More than ever before, America needs more principled, conservative patriots serving in our government in Washington, state houses, and city and town halls throughout the country," West wrote supporters on Wednesday. That's why I created the Allen West Guardian Fund to elect 14 new hard-charging constitutional conservatives in 2014 who are either minorities or veterans to help put this nation back on track. Over the past several months, the Guardian Fund has been building up a grassroots army of conservatives, in addition to vetting and meeting with conservative candidates across the country.
The Allen West Guardian Fund PAC endorsed U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who is running against U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in 2014. As Republicans look to flip the Senate in 2014, Pryor is a top GOP candidate, especially as Arkansas becomes increasingly hostile territory for Democrats. West is not the only Florida Republican with high hopes for Cotton. Rubios Reclaim America PAC backed Cotton over Pryor last month.
West also backed Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love who is angling for a rematch against U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, in 2014. West slammed Matheson as an entrenched liberal on Wednesday. Republicans had high hopes for Love in 2012 but, with more than 245,000 votes cast, Matheson beat her by 768 votes.
Dan Bongino, who is looking to challenge U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., also won Wests support on Wednesday. A former New York City cop and Secret Service agent, Bongino was the Republican candidate who challenged U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., in 2012. Cardin crushed Bongino, taking 55 percent while the Republican only won 27 percent of the vote and independent Rob Sobhani carried 17 percent of the vote.
West also backed tea party favorite E.W. Jackson who is running for lieutenant governor of Virginia in November. Jackson, who is a minister, has been under fire for statements made on both the pulpit and the campaign trail. West had campaigned with Jackson, a fellow African-American Republican, at the end of September. In Novembers elections, Jackson is an underdog to defeat Democratic nominee state Sen. Ralph Northam.
I'm confident that each of these candidates will stand firm against Barack Obama's big-government agenda, reckless foreign policy, and destructive economic plan, West insisted on Wednesday.
A poll released last week from Public Policy Polling (PPP), a firm with connections to prominent Democrats, finds West is in solid shape in Florida despite his loss to Murphy in 2012. Unlike potential Democratic 2016 rivals, former state CFO Alex Sink and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who are both upside down in the poll, West is treading water with 27 percent of those surveyed seeing him as favorable and the same percentage of voters viewing him as unfavorable. Despite that, the poll found Sink and Wasserman Schultz with narrow leads over West.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @KevinDerbySSN.