Carl Domino, Ellen Andel Gear Up to Challenge Patrick Murphy
Around the State
Former state Rep. Carl Domino and Juno Vice Mayor Ellen Andel are looking to tie themselves to prominent Republicans as they prepare to challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., next year.
Domino and Andel are part of an increasingly crowded field of candidates looking at toppling Murphy. Former Connecticut state Rep. Alan Schlesinger, best known as the Republican candidate who ran against then-U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Constitution State back in 2006, and activist Ilya Katz are also running. Former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who ran for an open seat last year but came up short against Democrat Lois Frankel, is also looking at entering the race.
“I'm running to restore Allen West's seat into the hands of another conservative champion,” Domino informed supporters on Wednesday. “This race isn't just about Florida's 18th Congressional District -- it's about America and the direction We the People want our nation to head in the coming years. Trust me when I tell you this race has national implications -- pollsters, pundits, and even the White House itself are carefully watching it.
“It's our duty to avenge Allen West's loss and send Patrick Murphy back to liberal Fort Lauderdale,” Domino added.
Domino has been playing up that theme in recent days, sending out a fundraising email last week stressing the need to “reclaim Allen West’s seat.”
But Domino is not alone in trying to hitch his wagon to a prominent Republican. Andel announced on Saturday that she would be holding a fundraiser hosted by two members of the Rooney family later this month. Joe and Chris Rooney will be holding a fundraiser for Andel in Jupiter next Tuesday. Chris Rooney has run his brothers’ campaigns, helping Tom Rooney rise to Congress and Pat Rooney win a seat in the Florida House.
As for West, despite his close loss to Murphy in 2012, he has shut the door to a rematch in 2014, though he has opened the door to a political comeback in 2016.
Still, West has insisted he will remain politically active in the coming election cycle and, on Tuesday, tipped his cards to reveal some of his plans.
On Tuesday, West sent a message to supporters and insisted his Allen West Guardian Fund PAC will back “14 hard-charging conservatives” running for Congress. The former congressman promised candidates he backs will “guard the Constitution and defend our shared values."
Last week, West pledged to raise $5 million to help elect conservatives to Congress. West has not yet revealed which candidates he will back in 2014.