Allen West’s war chest dwarfs Democratic opponents

U.S. Rep. Allen West stunned even his supporters on Wednesday when he announced he raked in $1.9 million in donations in the third quarter alone — more than four and five times his Democratic competitors. More than 40,000 individual contributors gave during that time period, putting West’s war chest at a hard-to-beat $4.1 million and laying to rest any speculation that his debt-limit vote had turned off some of his staunchest tea party conservative supporters.

The Democratic contenders for Florida’s Congressional District 22 seat have each raised $1.1 million so far, after adding this quarter’s contributions to the pot .

Patrick Murphy’s campaign announced this week that he raised $313,000 during the third quarter of this year, while Lois Frankel’s team pulled in $415,000 during the same time period.

Listed in Politico as one of the “10 key bellwether House races” in the nation the U.S. House District 22 contest will attract all eyes to both its Democratic and Republican contenders.

West, the incumbent, won the seat in 2010 against Ron Klein, with a margin of victory that was almost identical to Klein’s win over West two years earlier. In 2008, Klein won with 54.68 percent of the vote to West’s 45.32, while 2010 saw West take 54.36 percent to Klein’s 45.64.

The seat is expected to see definitive changes in its boundaries after the redistricting process is complete earlier next year, bringing new demographics and a fresh dynamic to the race.

While Frankel said she would not take West lightly, she believes it is time for the Democrats to take back the District 22 seat.”It’s clear to me that folks are fed up with the paralysis in Washington caused by tea party extremist[s] like Allen West,” Frankel said in announcing her third-quarter fundraising total.

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