The Republican field of candidates has been narrowed to nine – as of last count – in the race to unseat Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) in 2012. Congressman Allen West (FL-22) has shut the door and announced his intent to seek re-election to the Broward-Palm Beach seat he won in 2010.
Following a record breaking fundraising quarter and a push from fellow Republicans to seek higher office, West has decided to stay put in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The outspoken freshman and Tea Party favorite from Plantation stirred the interest of reporters and Republican supporters in an interview last week when he stated that the door was “cracked very slightly” for running.
"I cracked it open enough so that people can slip a note under the door and I can read the note,” said West. “And I can write back on the note 'probably not.'"
On Monday, Congressman Allen West shut the door on a possible U.S. Senate run with the following statement:
(BOCA RATON, FL) Congressman Allen West announced today that he is running for reelection for the House of Representatives and is closing the door on a race for the United States Senate.
Congressman West stated:
"Over the last several weeks, numerous leaders of the Florida Republican Party, including current and past elected officials, have spoken to me about the race for the United States Senate. Out of respect, I was willing to listen.
They realize, as do I, that we need to change the United States Senator for the State of Florida. Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Bill Nelson are not acting in the best interests of Floridians and the American people.
In November of 2010, the citizens of the 22nd Congressional District sent me to Capitol Hill to right our fiscal ship of state, to work to rebuild our economy and to create jobs.
For the last two weeks, I have traveled the Congressional District and spoken clearly to the citizens that while we have made progress these last seven months, there is still so much to accomplish for our country. I believe the place where I can best effect the needed change is from the People's House - the House of Representatives.
I have been given one of the highest honors to serve in the House of Representatives and I will continue to serve the citizens in that capacity. I will not seek the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2012. With regard to my future, the only goal I have is to do my very best to represent the constituents of the Congressional District and to restore the exceptionalism of our nation."
With Congressman West announcing his intent to seek re-election in CD-22, the Republican field of candidates to challenge Senator Bill Nelson has been narrowed to Bill Fisher Jr., Alexander George, Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister, Ron McNeil, Craig Miller, Ron Rushing, and Marielena Stuart.