Patrick Murphy -- Rep. Allen West's young opponent in the 2012 election -- had a lot to be excited about last week when he announced he'd raised $450,000 last quarter in his bid to unseat West.
Yesterday, though, West released his quarterly fundraising report, disclosing he raised a bit more than Murphy -- a million bucks more.
West raised $1.5 million last quarter, according to the National Journal, which makes Lt. Col. West the undisputed heavyweight champ of fundraising in the state, raking in more cash than any House candidate who's announced the quarter's totals, and all four Republican Senate contenders looking to take over Sen. Bill Nelson's seat next year.
Murphy was smart to release his fundraising figures a bit early, though, to avoid being drowned out by the ka-chings of West's cash register.
Thus far, Murphy's raised $800,000 -- the most by any congressional challenger in the nation -- but he may have picked a fight with the wrong dude, if West's dollar signs can translate into votes in 2012.
As we've mentioned before, a strong Democratic candidate does have two possible advantages against West, with the fact that 2012 is a presidential election year and the impending redistricting results.
Politicking pundits have already branded West's reelection bid as one of the most competitive House races to watch out for, and at least Murphy is making it seem competitive.
But a $1.5 million quarter makes West a tank.
West's name is continuously dropped as a Senate contender, he's been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, and we've even gotten letters here at New Times advocating that West run for president.
As a freshman congressman, it's a safe bet that West will focus on defending his seat in 2012.
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In the Senate race, George Lemieux raised $50k short of a million dollars, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos raised $900,000, and Adam Hasner raised $560,000 -- relatively low compared to other Senate campaigns, but it's starting to become a very crowded field of Republican challengers to Sen. Nelson.