Florida Rep. West to Georgia for GOP dinner

Florida Rep. Allen West continues to expand his national profile.

The freshman Republican has cemented himself as one of the Tea Party's champions after decrying federal government spending during the campaign and following that up by voting against the latest short-term spending measure.

In the latest sign of his growing profile, West will be the keynote speaker at the Georgia Republican Party's Presidents' Day dinner on Monday at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta.

West, who defeated Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) by eight points last cycle, was born in Atlanta and still has connections in the state. "I got relatives there, so I'm going back home," he told The Ballot Box.

He'll appear at the event with Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), Sen. Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Gov. Nathan Deal and other state GOP officials.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who is not up for reelection next year, won't attend because he's on an overseas trip next week, according to his Senate office.

West has seen his political stock rise to the point that he's being mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick in 2012. "Allen West would certainly be someone you'd look at," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said last month when asked about possible VPs. 

Asked if he was getting speaking request from other state parties, West smiled. "A few," he said, before edging away.

--Updated at 4:11 p.m.

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