Former Congressman Allen West might have lost his seat in Congress in 2012 and says he has no intention of running for his old job or challenging Gov. Rick Scott in the 2014 election cycle, but he shows no signs of heading to the political sidelines, either.
Besides drawing some attention as a possible lieutenant governor under Scott, West, a favorite of the tea party movement and conservatives across the nation, will stay in the limelight as a contributor for the Fox News Channel.
Bill Shine, the executive vice president of programming for Fox News, announced on Thursday that West would join the channel. Representative Wests congressional and military experience, along with his fearless approach to voicing key issues, will provide a valuable point of view to the Fox News lineup, Shine said on Thursday.
While most observers do not expect West to wind up as Scotts understudy, the former congressmans name continues to receive some attention as possible lieutenant governor. After Jennifer Carroll resigned in disgrace earlier in the year, Scott said that he expected to name a new lieutenant governor after the legislative session which ended early this month.
Asked last week if West would be a possibility to be Floridas next lieutenant governor, Scott said he considered the former congressman a fine choice for the position.
Democrats quickly seized on the opportunityand sent out fundraising emails noting that Scott was considering appointing the colorful and often controversial former congressman.
But even as Democrats continue to play up the possibility that West could end up as lieutenant governor, Republicans in Tallahassee are shrugging off the possibility. Talking to the media Thursday, Sen Joe Negron, R-Palm City, the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, dismissed as unlikely the idea of West as lieutenant governor.
By accepting the position with Fox News, West has basically taken himself out of consideration for being Rick Scott's No. 2. While he was sharply critical of Scott for supporting accepting federal dollars for the Medicaid expansion mandated by President Barack Obamas health,care law, West has shot down rumors that he intends to battle Scott for the Republican gubernatorial nomination next year. He has also shown no interest in a rematch with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, the Democrat who beat him in November.
Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News.