Rep. Allen West scores $1.5M haul in second quarter

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a Tea Party favorite who's expected to face a difficult reelection challenge, raised a whopping $1.5 million in the second quarter to support his 2012 campaign.

West posted a major haul of campaign cash between the beginning of April and the end of June; his second-quarter tally is more typical of a Senate candidate than a freshman member of the House.

West's campaign said the total was fueled by more than 23,500 individual donors, the average contribution from which was $66 per person.

His campaign didn't release any figures about its amount of cash on hand, though he reported about $243,000 in the bank at the end of March.

The haul reflects the enthusiasm for West among the Republican Party's grassroots. He's a figure who identifies closely with the Tea Party and is just one of two conservative, African-American voices in Congress.

Still, West is expected to face a difficult challenge. His current district is seen as a relatively centrist one, and his victory in 2010 was aided by the Republican headwinds of that cycle. But he's also one of the GOP lawmakers who could be vulnerable to redistricting, which would set up a more difficult reelection challenge.

Updated 9:14 p.m.

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