Now that Allen West has announced his intent to ditch the 22nd to run in a more Republican district farther north, there's no telling who's going to come out of the woodwork to snag the open seat in the November election.
Right now, the only sure candidates are Republican Adam Hasner, who was running for the U.S. Senate until yesterday, and Democrat Lois Frankel, former mayor of West Palm Beach, both of whom, if yesterday's district-switching shenanigans are any indication, could just up and wander off at any moment.
Hasner formerly represented parts of Palm Beach and Broward counties in the Florida House and served as majority leader under then-Speaker of the House Marco Rubio. As of the end of September, Hasner had raised $1.1 million for the Senate race and still had $785,000 on hand that he can now use here instead.
Frankel, who said in a news release Tuesday night that she was definitely running in District 22, has the race's cash advantage for now -- she's raised a little more than $1.4 million so far, including $320,000 in the fourth quarter, according to campaign finance documents filed yesterday. She started 2012 with just over a million bucks in the war chest.
Whether Frankel will have a primary challenger, however, is still up in the air -- Patrick Murphy has had his sights on West for a long while, but his campaign last night said that with the state's redistricting map not set, it was too early to commit to running in a particular district.
Still, Murphy started last year with a bang, raising more than any other congressional challenger in the nation with $350,000 and $450,000 raised in the first and second quarters, respectively. He finished the year with a $300,000 take between October and January and had about $900,000 on hand at the end of the year. Now we just have to see what he does with it.
West, by comparison, has raised more than $5.8 million this election cycle and had $2.7 million available at the beginning of the year -- more than all his challengers combined. (Though complete records aren't yet available for Hasner.) West's frequent TV appearances and penchant for saying things that make outrageous internet headlines have attracted money from all over the country -- stay tuned for a report on exactly where soon.
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