Allen West shuts door on Senate race
August 22, 2011
By Dave Catanese
He left the door cracked open, but on Monday slammed it shut.
Florida Rep. Allen West said he'll run for his 22nd Congressional District seat next year, closing the door on a race for U.S. Senate even months before the redistricting process is complete.
"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," West said in a statement.
The controversial first-term freshman Republican said he had been contacted by GOP leaders about the race over the past few weeks and "out of respect, I was willing to listen."
But after traveling his district and speaking to his constituents, he said he decided that "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," he said. "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."
Jeff Howell, treasurer for the Republican Party of Florida, was the latest to express dissatisfaction with the candidates who have lined up to take on Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
"We need some more candidates who can get people fired up. I dont see the voters getting fired up over the current crop, Howell told the News-Press. I mean, theyre all good individuals, but I dont see anybody setting the world on fire.
Former Sen. George LeMieux, former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, retired Col. Mike McCalister and restaurateur Craig Miller are the four major candidates competing for the GOP nomination.
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