Even after his defeat at the hands of young challenger Patrick Murphy in his re-election bid, Allen West (R-FL) is apparently unshaken. The GOP House Representative attempted to force a recount in some of Florida’s counties following the election, taking almost a full two weeks to concede to 29-year-old Murphy. West is optimistic about his political future, reminding NPR on Friday that “Abraham Lincoln only served one term in Congress, too.”
West has not revealed any future campaign plans, but based on his interview with NPR’s Michel Martin, he will take some personal time after he leaves office. He promised to continue to “stand up and fight for this country,” while making sure that his two teenage daughters “grow up in a great America that provides them all the opportunities that it provided to their mother and father.”
Murphy was a large underdog in this year’s campaign, with West learning both in campaign funding and spending. Still, the Florida Democrat was able to carry the same key demographics that won President Barack Obama the swing state during the election. Specifically, women helped Murphy beat out the incumbent, who were uncomfortable with GOP stances on key women’s rights issues. Becky Bond, executive director of the CREDO Mobile SuperPAC backing Murphy, commented on the strength of Florida’s women in ousting West.
“We did some message testing, and we found out that actually not only were there women in our office who the thing they really wanted to talk about was how these guys defended Planned Parenthood and wanted to talk about different kinds of rape — they were enraged by that — but we also found that our messages about women were more likely to move voters and the voters who were more likely to move were women,” Bond said during a Washington conference for progressive political groups. “So we thought, ‘This is great, we are just going to talk to women.'”
West’s $17 million raised in campaign funds were no help against mobilized minority demographics. West claimed civil rights leaders abandoned him as he fell victim to political attack ads that he deemed racist during the summer. As a black Republican, West can find little sympathy at either side of the political spectrum. After losing a re-election bid that some believed to be a slam dunk victory, his political path may be difficult going forward.