Allen West Ranked as the Most Vulnerable GOP Congressman in Florida

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 2, 2012 3:55 AM
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Allen West

A prominent national pundit unveiled his look at congressional races in November and maintained that freshman U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., ranks as the most vulnerable member in the Florida delegation to lose his seat to the other party.

The Rothenberg Political Report -- brainchild of political analyst Stuart Rothenberg -- found 201 safe Republican seats and 161 secure Democratic seats across the nation. Rothenberg maintained there are less than 75 competitive House seats across the nation with 29 tossups, 25 races where the Republican starts off ahead and 19 seats where the Democrats have the advantage. Rothenberg insisted there would be no “wave” resulting in a dramatic shift in the House with various projections showing Democrats gaining, at most, six seats -- far from what they need to take back the House.

According to Rothenberg, West, who is picking up a large portion of the area currently represented by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., after redistricting, is in a tossup district with a Republican tilt. West faces an August primary challenge from Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder, still unpopular with some Republicans for backing Democrat Alex Sink in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Democrats have high hopes for businessman Patrick Murphy, who is expected to emerge from their primary contest.

Looking at other races, Rothenberg found only six competitive races in Florida, while he did not expect the other 20 congressional contests to be close.

Rothenberg placed Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland’s bid for a second term in the “Lean Republican” category. With Tallahassee, traditionally a bastion of support for Democrats with its populations of university students and state government employees, playing a larger role after redistricting, Southerland can expect to face a major Democratic opponent in November. Former state Sen. Al Lawson is battling state Rep. Leonard Bembry and Panama City attorney Alvin Peters in the Democratic primary.

Two Republicans in Congress who have continued to face questions about ethics were also listed by Rothenberg in “Lean Republican” seats. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican who serves on the Ways and Means Committee, faces a challenge from Democratic nominee former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, who lost his Florida House seat in 2010. U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., is also in a “Lean Republican” contest. Rivera might face a rematch with Democratic leader Joe Garcia who ran for Congress in 2008 and 2010 but faces a primary in August.

Rothenberg maintained that U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., is in better shape for his bid for a second term, placing him in a “Republican Favored” seat. Democrats have high hopes for their candidate, former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings who has garnered national attention for her congressional bid.

Two congressional races without incumbents were ranked by Rothenberg as “Lean Democrat.”

This includes former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s bid to return to Congress in Central Florida. Rothenberg made the former Democrat congressman a favorite over whoever emerges in the Republican primary. Osceola County Commissioner John Quiñones, attorney Todd Long, businessman Julius Melendez and businessman Mark Oxner will battle it out for the Republican nomination in the August primary.

Rothenberg ranked former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner as an underdog as the Republican seeks a congressional seat despite two Democrats fighting for their party’s nomination. Lois Frankel, who led Democrats in the Florida House and served as mayor of West Palm Beach, battles Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs in the August primary.

Looking at other races, Rothenberg did not think competitive Republican primaries will help Democrats pick up seats in Florida.

While U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns faces three major foes for the Republican nomination, Rothenberg insisted that whoever wins the primary will safely carry the seat for the Republicans. Two Republican congressmen -- U.S. Rep. John Mica and U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams -- are gearing up for a primary contest in August, but whoever emerges should have a “Safe Republican” contest in November. Despite crowded Republican primaries to fill two open seats -- one stretching from the outskirts of Jacksonville to Volusia County and the other in Southwest Florida -- Rothenberg determined that whoever the GOP turns to will be in “Safe Republican” districts. While physician and businessman Dr. Rudy Moise is back to challenge U.S. Frederica Wilson in the Democratic primary, there are no Republican candidates in the race, making the seat safe for the Democrats.

Rothenberg found congressional incumbents Jeff Miller, Ander Crenshaw, Bill Posey, Rich Nugent, Gus Bilirakis, Bill Young, Dennis Ross, Tom Rooney, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to be in “Safe Republican” seats. Incumbent members of the U.S. House, Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Alcee Hastings, Ted Deutch and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, were listed by Rothenberg as having “Safe Democrat” seats.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

Comments (4)

Andrew Nappi
5:38AM JUL 2ND 2012
While this sample uses Gus Bilirakis as an example, any of FL's Bill of Rights weakening House of Representatives members can be named from either party.
4:54PM JUL 4TH 2012
Yes, as I'm quickly learning from your other postings, everyone else is evil, except you. Delusional.
Andrew Nappi
5:36AM JUL 2ND 2012
These Tea Party faves NEED to be punished. They voted YES to the arrest and indefinite detention of US citizens in the US, CISPA, HR347 and extensions to the patriot act. There is NO forgiveness for weakening the Bill of Rights. Of course there are no constitution supporting democrats in these races either BUT the ENTIRE RPOF cadre of hacks needs to be told:

A RESOLUTION affirming the sovereignty of the People of the State of FLORIDA.

WHEREAS, in the American system, sovereignty is defined as final authority, and the People, not government, are sovereign; and

WHEREAS, the people of the State of FLORIDA are not united with the People of the other forty-nine states that comprise the United States of America on a principle of unlimited submission to their federal government; and

WHEREAS, all power not delegated by the people to government is retained; and

WHEREAS, the People of the several States comprising the United States of America created the federal government to be their agent for certain enumerated purposes only; and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people;” and

WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that which has been delegated by the people to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States, and also that which is necessary and proper to carry into execution those enumerated powers; with the rest being left to state governments or the people themselves; and

WHEREAS, powers, too numerous to list for the purposes of this resolution, have been exercised, past and present, by federal administrations, under the leadership of both Democrats and Republicans, which infringe on the sovereignty of the people of this state, and may further violate the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, when powers are assumed by the federal government which have not been delegated to it by the People, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy; that without this remedy, the People of this State would be under the dominion, absolute and unlimited, of whoever might exercise this right of judgment for them.

CONCURRING, that we hereby affirm that the above referenced acts are an egregious attack on the Constitution of The United States and an a misrepresentation and usurpation of the power delegated to you through your constituency and so be it further

RESOLVED, That we will no longer support the lesser of two evils as a member of congress

RESOLVED, We will no longer support, vote for or endorse your actions against the American people.

RESOLVED, We are looking for individuals who are willing to challenge Representative Bilirakris and remove him from political office.

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the citizens in your congressional district and inform them of your actions.
10:47AM JUL 2ND 2012
Sigh, repeating your nullification nonsense over and over again, wasting our time and this blog's space.

Nullification is a myth. The Supreme Court has said so. If you dispute, show us one modern Supreme Court case that says otherwise.

Can't, then stop this nonsense, or demonstrate yourself to once again be a delusional idealogical kook, continually denying legal reality.

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