Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) suggested a potential opponent, Democrat Lois Frankel, might be opposing his reelection bid because she "likes running against black guys" Thursday in an interview with Politico.
"She's a career politician looking for her next gig," he said. "Maybe she likes running against black guys," he added, referring to a 1992 Democratic primary in another congressional district that she lost to Alcee Hastings, who went on to win the seat. Frankel, the former mayor of West Palm Beach, is running in the Democratic primary along with Patrick Murphy to oppose West.
The Miami Herald quoted a "highly placed source" affiliated with West Wednesday saying that the congressman was considering running in a neighboring district, setting up a primary with Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) The Florida Senate proposed a map -- which is not final -- for congressional seats making West's district four percent more Democratic. Barack Obama, John Kerry and Al Gore all won the district. West denied the report to Politico.
Frankel said West might be "afraid" of running against her after the report came out. "It looks like Mr. West is afraid of a real fight, which is what he will get when he faces me in a general election. Mr. West: Don't cut and run ... stay and fight. I am not retreating to anywhere. I am staying right here," she said.
West has been fundraising strongly for his reelection bid. He has raised almost $4 million dollars in 2011 through Sept. 30, an impressive number for a House member. Frankel and her primary opponent Murphy have raised about $1.1 million each through third quarter 2011.