Javier Manjarres is reporting that Allen West has announced that he is switching Congressional districts, from FL-22 (which was drawn to doom him) to FL-16. I don’t know the particulars of that district since it has been redrawn but it used to be one of the safest GOP seats in the country (and is now infamous for having two consecutive congressmen resign in disgrace in the face of criminal probes). Too early to tell whether West will face a serious primary challenge as the current incumbent is also moving to another district.
Meanwhile, the question of who was responsible for turning FL-22 into a Democrat sinkhole continues to swirl. I’ve had folks who are involved in Florida politics tell me that Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolous was responsible as payback for West refusing to support Haridopolous in his abortive United States Senate bid, or for one imagined slight or the other. Haridopolous, for his point, insists that the maps were basically required to be drawn that way due to a new FLorida law designed to prevent gerrymandering of districts. Allegedly, however, other district maps were proposed and rejected which would not have been quite as injurious to West’s chances in FL-22. At this point, it is difficult to know what to believe.
It seems likely, however, that unless the composition of FL-16 has changed remarkably in the redistricting process that West has a better chance of winning a primary and the general than he did in winning the original FL-22, which was always going to be a very tough fight. It’s too early to celebrate yet but it looks like there’s a good chance that West will be around and kicking for a while longer yet.