Democrat Trails Allen West Into 18th Congressional District

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: February 9, 2012 3:55 AM
Patrick Murphy and Allen West

Patrick Murphy and Rep. Allen West

Democrats can play musical chairs, too. But voters may not like their tune.

Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy is following Republican Rep. Allen West up Florida's east coast to take on the first-term congressman in his newly adopted district.

Murphy had planned to vie with Lois Frankel for the Democratic nomination in West's current South Florida district. Now, with West relocating to the Treasure Coast, Murphy figures to take the inside track in contending with West for the newly drawn 18th Congressional District.

"Allen West abandoned his constituents to find supposedly safer political ground," Murphy said in a statement Wednesday.

"Today, our campaign is putting Mr. West on notice: There is no safe district he can run to."

Murphy claimed the support of the Democratic hierarchy.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, called Murphy "one of the most formidable fundraisers in the country. I am thrilled he is going to continue to take this fight to Allen West and confident he will defeat him in November."

Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, said Murphy "has the support of the party and Democrats throughout Florida."
But Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, predicted West would have no problem this fall.

"He'll win by 20 points. He would have won by 10 points in his old district," said Dinerstein. "People up there on the Treasure Coast listen, as opposed to down here, where they are Democrats by religion."

Rep. Tom Rooney, who is leaving the Treasure Coast to run in the new 17th Congressional District, won re-election by nearly 30 points in 2010. Dinerstein said the new CD 18 is more conducive to Republicans than West's old stomping grounds in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

The chairman dismissed the prospect of the national Democrats pouring additional money into Murphy's CD 18 race.

"Only if they're dumber than I think they are," Dinerstein chuckled.

West spokeswoman Angela Melvin told Sunshine State News: "Congressman West is not commenting on Murphy. He is a non-issue."

West reportedly has raised more than $5 million for his re-election bid.

Murphy, in a statement, said he had raised more than $1.4 million as of last quarter and had "amassed over 15,000 online supporters."

"I got into this race for two main reasons," he continued.

"First, I believe the biggest threat to America, our troubled economy, is best addressed by having more people with my experience as a CPA and small-business owner in Congress.  

"Secondly, Allen West and the tea party represent an enormous threat to the middle class, seniors, the environment and America's economic recovery. There is simply no one more divisive in Congress and it’s imperative we make sure he is not re-elected," Murphy said.

Allen Miller, Republican state committeeman from St. Lucie County, said Murphy "probably would not have won the nomination [had he stayed in the old district] so he moved here out of desperation."

"He may be in for a surprise if he thinks he's going to have a romp here. Democrats in this county tend to be more conservative than those in Broward."

Miller opined that Murphy's "carpetbag" of money might actually shortchange the Democrats' chances in November.

"His entrance will probably prevent runs by local Democrats, who might have had a better chance," he said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee wasted no time going after Murphy.

“Patrick Murphy disparaged a decorated war veteran by calling him a 'coward' to get attention, but the real question remains clear -- who really is Patrick Murphy?

"His sense of entitlement may lead him to believe he deserves a seat in Congress, and that big-government knows what is best for Floridians, but that’s far from reality," said NRCC spokesman Nat Sillin.

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 801-5341.

Comments (10)

8:34AM FEB 10TH 2012
Allen West is a rude, no-class, egotist, whose self-righteous rant telling his adversaries to leave America if they don'y like what he believes is the moderne equivalent to that right-wing staple of the Vietnam era: "America: Love it or Leave it." Well Mr. West, some of us will stand and fight before we abandon our country to drones like you and your Teabagger puppet-masters.
10:29AM AUG 9TH 2012
I sure hope you aren't speaking about the al qaida wacko who asked West to "show me in the koran where it sqays muslims shoud attack America"

West made him look like the fool he is and schooled him in muslim history for a sold 5 minutes citing facts, dates and atrocities committed by the "religion of peace" over the pst 1300 years.

West will win by 20 points and Obama will lose by almost a similar number so why don't you start packing, liberal. Go to one of the muzzie countries. You'll be happier there anyway and us real Americans won't have to listen to your nonsense any longer.
1:36PM FEB 10TH 2012
Thanks for not being rude. Your class is obvious. I sincerely agree. You should stand up and fight then please abandon our country. :-)
Broward Dems
3:01PM FEB 9TH 2012
Allen West is a carpetbagging coward. CYA Later.
This website is a joke.
2:46PM FEB 9TH 2012
ATTENTION PATRICK MURPHY: CONGRESSMAN Allen West did NOT abandon anyone, and never has. His being redistricted was a move instigated by traitor Mitt Romney and the Democratic Party. We The People do NOT want another Democrat in office; in fact we plan to remove as many as possible from office in the House, Senate, and Oval Office. Don't bother to run; you'll simply spend a lot of donor money for a overwhelming loss on your side.
12:26PM FEB 9TH 2012
Patrick Murphy is a nice guy but with almost no life experience. He went to school on dad then went to work for dad. Running against Congressman West will add meaning to Murphy's law and give Patrick a bit of an education in the School of Hard Knocks. Conservative is the way even Democrats live their lives. The last four years have Changed Everything. Wake up and smell the freedom.
10:05AM FEB 11TH 2012
and West has lived a life on the taxpayer dole...MIC...and was unceremoniously ousted from even that
philip solar
10:04AM FEB 9TH 2012
My support is with Col. Allen West. Col. west is a credit to florida and to the People of Florida and the USA. All DWS can try and spew venoum
9:36AM FEB 9TH 2012
Honor, heroism, character, class, and patriotic dignity is what Colonel West exemplifies and what the Democrats don't have and never will. It is easy to try to tear down someone by saying untrue things about someone, but to compete on the merits of facts, is another story.
Andrew Nappi
6:30AM FEB 9TH 2012
Yes. Send Allen West back to Congress so he can vote YES to more bills like NDAA and complete the abrogation of our Bill of Rights. Sad that the best the GOP is willing to do is wave the bloody shirt and promote a statist. No small wonder Florida conservatism has lost its identity.

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