Rep. West brings in $4 million in fourth quarter

That brings West's fundraising total over the entire cycle to more than $14.5 million. West campaign manager Tim Edson said in a statement that the money raised over the last quarter was indicative of the "enthusiastic support driving" his campaign.

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"With this report, Patrick Murphy's desperation will only grow. Every day, Murphy's lies, smears and phony poll numbers reinforce the fact he's just a spoiled brat throwing a fit because his campaign is on the ropes. As the DCCC cancels advertising on his behalf and abandons his campaign, he is realizing his father's money isn't enough to save him and he's lashing out," Edson said in the statement.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did in fact cancel a week of airtime in the district, starting on Oct. 9, but Democratic House Majority PAC will be spending $1 million there this month. And Murphy's father did contribute $250,000 to a political action committee solely supporting Murphy, which has thus far run one ad. 

But Murphy's campaign pointed out when releasing its fundraising numbers on Monday that the $3.3 million he's collected so far for his bid makes him one of the top three Democratic challengers nationwide in terms of fundraising. Campaign spokeswoman Erin Moffet indicated they're not worried about West's considerable financial muscle.

"Patrick Murphy's campaign has remained the top fundraising challenger in the country and we are currently ahead in polls conducted by both Democratic and Republican pollsters.  We are in a great position to win," she said.

The fact that West's cash-on-hand sum has stayed largely static since the close of the last reporting period reflects the fact that West has released a barrage of ads against Murphy, most recently one that targeted Murphy's underage drinking and used his mugshot while touting West's military service.

Murphy answered that ad with one of his own, released on Tuesday, that Murphy's campaign says attempts to "clarify" what happened in 2003, the year that West's initial ad focuses on.

"You need the facts about Allen West in 2003. West was criminally charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault, and relieved of his command," the ad says.

It cites sections of the Army report that state that West "performed illegal acts" and "faced 11 years in prison."

That year, West was charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice after firing a gun near an Iraqi's head in order to get information out of him. West resigned from the military with full benefits and was fined, rather than court-martialed.

West said that he stands by what he did in Iraq and called them "actions I took to protect the lives of my men" in a statement.

"Patrick Murphy has never volunteered to serve this country. If put in that situation, it is obvious Patrick Murphy would risk neither his life nor endanger his career for those he was entrusted to lead," West said.

Edson was more critical of the ad, and of Murphy himself, attacking him in the statement for targeting a veteran in the new ad.

"What kind of man who has never worn the uniform attacks an honorably discharged combat veteran for protecting the lives of his soldiers? A desperate man and apparently the same kind of man who calls a decorated combat veteran a coward, hides behind his father's racist attack ads, gets into drunken bar fights, verbally assaults police officers and then uses his family's connections to get out of trouble," he said.

Watch Murphy's ad:


—This post was published at 4:46 and updated at 5:17 p.m.