Allen West open to 2016 bid

Former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) made clear Friday he's looking at another run for office in 2016 — he just doesn't yet know which.

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"Yeah, sure," he said, when asked by The Hill whether he's planning to run for office in 2016. "I mean, a lot of people are out there wanting me to get back on Capitol Hill, and folks are talking about, of course, the Senate race. But we'll see what comes down the pike."

West spoke to a packed ballroom at the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday, drawing cheers for an address full of biblical references and calls for Americans to stick to traditional values.

The former congressman had previously indicated an interest in running for Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) seat in 2016, sparking speculation that he plans to primary the senator.

He declined to clarify whether he'd launch a primary bid against Rubio, saying only that "only in Washington, D.C. would a nonanswer be taken as a yes answer."

West has also been suggested by some as a potential presidential candidate. Pressed on whether he was leaning toward one office or another, he said he's concerned for his daughters' futures and just wants "to make sure I leave a better America for them than what was left for me."

"I don't know if that means being in the White House, being in the Senate, being in the House, or just being out there helping people that want to carry the right message," he said.

Following his loss in 2012, West launched a nonprofit and a political action committee to support minority and veteran candidates, which is already making endorsements for the cycle. He plans to endorse 10 more candidates for 2014, but said he wouldn't engage in primaries.

West's 2012 race was one of the closest, most expensive and nastiest of the cycle, and the result wasn't known for weeks, as West asked for a partial recount.

Asked why he thought he lost, he suggested it was partially due to "nefarious actions" on the part of the St. Lucie County commissioners.

"I think the people decided that they wanted someone else. I think there [were] a little nefarious actions going on in St. Lucie County. When you're sitting up there at 1 o'clock in the morning [and] you have a 4,000 vote shift, I think that has an impact on it as well," he said.

Both sides traded hard-hitting attack ads, with West featuring now-Rep. Patrick Murphy's (D-Fla.) mug shot from an underage drinking incident in one photo, while an outside group aired an ad that showed a cartoon West punching out an elderly white woman, which West called, on Friday, "despicable."

Referencing the ad, he added: "But if that's what the American people and the people of that district believed in, that's on them, not me," he said.