February 8, 2012 | 1:29pm
Democratic congressional candidate Patrick Murphy's campaign just announced that he will be moving from his original plans to run in District 22 up to the newly drawn District 18 to challenge Congressman Allen West for a seat in the House of Representatives.
West announced last week that he was giving up on reelection
in his current district and would be running for a seat left behind by Rep. Tom Rooney.
"Allen West and the Tea Party represent an enormous threat to the middle class, seniors, the environment, and America's economic recovery. There is simply no one more divisive in Congress," Murphy said in a news release. "It's imperative we make sure he is not re-elected."
West swapped districts because the newly drawn map became far more Democratic; District 18 has slightly more registered Republicans than Democrats. Murphy is also going
up against one of Congress' most prolific fundraisers: While Murphy outraised every congressional challenger in the country last spring and finished the year with more than $1.4 million in contributions, West has so far raised $5.8 million from all 50 states for the 2012 cycle.
Still, the release included glowing blurbs from Democratic leaders, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who said she was "thrilled he is going to continue to take this fight to Allen West."
No one else has indicated that he will be running in the newly created District 18 against the two well-funded candidates already gearing up for a slugfest, but the race will be plenty interesting as it is.
"Today, our campaign is putting Mr. West on notice," Murphy said. "There is no safe district he can run to."