Allen West's Primary Opponents Don't Really Want to Be His Primary Opponents

​As you may have heard once or twice or a million times, Congressman Allen West is switching districts for the 2012 race, moving north to the newly drawn District 18. He already has an avowed general election opponent in Democrat Patrick Murphy, but West could also be up against two Republicans in a primary -- Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder has committed to the race, and South Florida Tea Party Chair Everett Wilkinson said he was considering a run.

But neither of the Republicans running against West say there's anything particularly wrong with his leadership.

"My heart is not in running against Allen West. My heart is in running for this district to provide some local leadership," Crowder told the Palm Beach Post, adding that he hasn't "physically had the time to dig into" what his differences are with West on the issues.

Wilkinson said the same thing to us last week:

"It's not that I don't support Allen West," he said. "I think that people should be represented by someone who lives in the community, who understands the community."

So, while it's easy to guess at Murphy's starting point against West (pretty much everything he's ever said), there aren't any indications of what the issues will be in the District 18 Republican primary other than, "He lives over there." Wilkinson said he was more moderate on social issues, but other than that, we'll just have to see what shakes out -- and how West spends his massive war chest.

Meanwhile, West's current district (ol' number 22) is starting to accrue contenders. Democrat and former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel has been raising money since last year, and Republican Adam Hasner received West's endorsement on the first day of his candidacy. Broward Vice Mayor Kristin Jacobs, a Democrat from Pompano Beach, also formally announced her candidacy yesterday.

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Rich Abdill