Patrick Murphy has a great campaign tactic to use in the District 18 race against Rep. Allen West -- he can always point out that he isn't Allen West.
Murphy followed West to District 18 after the congressman announced he wouldn't be running in his home district, ol' number 22. Murphy's campaign routinely highlights West's ridiculous rhetoric and won the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's National Grassroots Challenge as a result. And he just sent out a fundraising email aimed right at his favorite narrative: The subject line is "This will make Allen West mad."
Kind of vague, though -- that could be anything.
"Saturday is a critical day for our campaign -- the last major finance report before the primary ends and the general election begins. Eyes across the country will be watching us," writes Murphy staffer Shelby Scarpa. "Because of how critical our race against Tea Party extremist Allen West is, the finance team and I arranged a group of donors to match your contribution as long as we can hit $10,000 this week."
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Murphy's strategy thus far has been working -- he raked in $350,000 in the first three months of 2012 -- including $2,000 from DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He's collected $1.7 million total -- which, though it's dwarfed by West's $5.8 million, is still among the top bankrolls of any challenger in the country.
We'll get to see in a few weeks how successful his donation drive was; the next round of financial disclosure documents is due July 15.