West raises almost $2M for reelection

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) raised $1.9 million for his House reelection bid during the third quarter of the year, his campaign announced Wednesday, an eye-opening number that reaffirmed the intense energy surrounding the reelection of this polarizing freshman representative.

The day before, two of West's Democratic challengers released their fundraising figures, which were impressive in their own right, but amounted to about one-quarter of what West hauled in.

ADVERTISEMENT
More than 40,000 individuals contributed to West, with the average donation less than $50, the campaign said, an indication that a wide base of supporters was motivated — not just wealthier donors.

“The people of the 22nd congressional district of Florida, along with Americans from across the United States, have heard our message and support a strong constitutional conservative in the House of Representatives,” West said in a statement announcing the results.

In total, he has raised more than $4 million for his reelection.

West has become a divisive figure in Florida and nationally over his occasionally acerbic remarks about race, religion and fellow politicians. A staunch conservative, his first bid for the House was unsuccessful, but in 2010, he won by eight points over former Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) — even in a centrist, competitive district that President Obama won in 2008.

Although West has strong Tea Party support and a national following, Democrats are eager to unseat him and are raising big money for his opponents.

On Tuesday, Democrat Patrick Murphy announced he had raised $313,000 during the quarter, bringing his total to $1.1 million. And former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel raised more than $415,000 and now has almost a million in the bank.