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Politics

Marco Rubio and Allen West Start Out on Different Paths for 2016

August 11, 2013 - 6:00pm

Two possible Republican presidential candidates from Florida -- U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former U.S. Rep. Allen West -- are following different game plans for the rest of 2013 as they keep an eye on 2016.

While the likes of former U.S. Sen Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and U.S. Sen.Ted Cruz, R-Texas, were in Iowa this weekend for the Family Leader Summit in Ames, Rubio has avoided the Hawkeye State and intends to keep it that way for the rest of 2013. David Cantenese at The Run talked to Rubios team last week and found they intend to keep Rubio away from the early states like Iowa and New Hampshire in the months to come.

Rubios team did not rule out heading to those states in 2014. With a U.S. Senate seat open in Iowa with U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, retiring, look for Rubio to head out to the Hawkeye State in 2014. Earlier this year, Rubio ran ads in New Hampshire praising U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., for fighting against more gun control legislation.

In the meantime, while Rubio stays away from Iowa and New Hampshire, a fellow Floridian is showing signs of being more active in the early states that kick off the 2016 presidential primaries.

Despite losing his seat to Democrat Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., last year, West, a favorite of the tea party movement, has left the door open to a political comeback in 2016. While most political observers believe he will run again for the U.S. House or possibly for the U.S. Senate, West could have other ambitions -- namely, the White House. West has remained politically active since losing in November, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and leading his Allen West Guardian Fund PAC.

On Friday, West will head up to New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, to offer the keynote address to the Nashua Republican City Committee. West started posting ads on Facebook on Monday asking his friends in New Hampshire to attend the event.

West has hinted at making a presidential bid before. In May, West said he was contemplating running for office in 2016 though he did not narrow down which office he would shoot for. Less than a month after he lost to Murphy, West compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, noting that Lincoln only served one term in Congress before being elected president.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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