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Top Dem recruiter in town looking for challenger to Allen West

by George Bennett | February 24th, 2011

PALM BEACH — The head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is here looking for a 2012 challenger to freshman U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation.

U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., chatted with Tax Collector Anne Gannon today at the Four Seasons Resort about running in Palm Beach-Broward District 22. Israel breakfasted today with former Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, who lost to West in November, and said he has a “strong interest” in talking to term-limited West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel.

Israel and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi met Wednesday in Boca Raton with Patrick Murphy, a Coastal Construction VP who lives in Fort Lauderdale and is getting consulting advice from veteran Democratic strategist Eric Johnson.

Klein says he’s keeping his options open.

“We’d love to have him back,” Israel said of Klein.

Israel said Frankel, whose term ends next month, “would be an outstanding member of Congress.”

Frankel wasn’t immediately reachable this afternoon.

Fiery conservative West won with 54.4 percent last year in a district that’s roughly evenly divided between Republican and Democratic voters.

Democrats are convinced they can win the district back in a presidential election year. They note that District 22 is one of only 14 in the U.S. that voted for Democratic presidential nominees John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008 but has a Republican House member.

The district will have new boundaries in 2012 after once-in-a-decade reapportionment.

Israel said he’s been in Florida all week recruiting candidates and raising money. He mentioned freshmen Reps. David Rivera, R-Miami, and Daniel Webster, R-Orlando, as other top Democratic targets in Florida.

Gannon said she’s looking at the District 22 race, but “I’m not going to run against someone that has the same base I do.” She said Frankel and Klein would fit that category.

“I’m content in my job and like what I’m doing and frankly find that I have more of a chance to make a difference here” as tax collector, Gannon said.

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25 Responses to “Top Dem recruiter in town looking for challenger to Allen West”

  1. observing the pasing parade Says:

    I hope they nominate Frankel….West will get 98% of the vote

  2. JGP Says:

    If West were really vulnerable, Democrats would be lining up to challenge him in a swing district like FL-22. It says something that the Democrats are trying to recruit a candidate.

    And if the best the Dems can do is to put a tax collector up against an anti-tax candidate in FL-22, it’s all over.

    Same with Frankel. Outside of West Palm Beach, most people think she’s obnoxious.

    Ron Klein should have been a good fit for the district (fairly moderate, well-spoken, Jewish in a district that includes Boca), but he sold out in siding with Pelosi over his constituents on the healthcare bill and paid the price.

    I don’t know who the Democrats could recruit to beat West.
    Maybe a guy like Jeremy Ring if he lived in the district.

    Otherwise, the Democrats will just have to continue to be scared of having to deal with a popular black conservative Republican in Congress.

  3. StupidIdea Says:

    Enough of Lois already. No one wants her. She is a corrupt scum bag. Can’t we find anyone better than her? She’s an embarrassment.

  4. ELC Says:

    LOL!Ron the idiot Klein-he just got his
    A$$ whipped by Allen West-what is he coming around for more? Lois-Gee another
    laughable candidate. This is the best the Democrats can put up against West? Pretty nervous party wouldn’t you think?
    Well I got my laugh for the day-I wouldn’t hold my breathe on who will run against West but thanks for the chuckle. I am so happy that I became an
    Independent-my days of being a Democrat
    are over and done!!!

  5. Rose Says:

    It amazes me that Allen West won, people are delusional with this whole idea of smaller goverment. Goverment will never be small the US is a super power, we will never be small in anything. Plus I want the goverment to protect the needy, keepus safe and prevent chaos. Candidate I choose should have these goals!

  6. steve roberts Says:

    Dems must be pretty sure they can win this seat. Maybe more unpaid taxes for West are coming out?

  7. same ol same ol Says:

    Great post and I would hate to have the Dem recruiter’s job.

    Au contraire! And on second thought,it probably pays six figures with unlimited bennies of tax payer’s money.

    All you have to be is without principles.

  8. steve roberts Says:

    You realize that the recruiters are paid by private funds right? Or are just blathering on about something that doesn’t make sense.

    You know who else has a 6 figure job at the tax payers expense. Allen West.

  9. No more lax ethics!! Says:

    What Dems should question is why Miss Bondi thinks it is alright use State workers during business hours to walk her dog! Her own employee, Jason Gonzalez, walks her big St. Bernard all around downtown for everyone to see. That is just wrong Miss Bondi! Where are your ethics? And, why would you ever think that it is alright to use State resources this way? Do like the rest of us and pay someone who doesn’t work for you to come take your dog out!! Not only that, but he drives her everywhere. I don’t recall any provision for the TAXPAYERS to provide a driver for the Attorney General. She should know better!

  10. Joseph L Cooke Says:

    Any admirer of Lenin, Mao, or Ho Chi Minh, could run and draw most lib votes.

  11. Travis Says:

    Challenge Allen West? West will be moving on to bigger and better things in 2012. Count on it.

  12. 2012 Says:

    Gannon is too smart to run against West, but Klein and Frankel might be dumb enough to go for it.

  13. how the west was beaten Says:

    Dave Aronberg

  14. Kelley Eidem Says:

    The seat could be vacant because many Republicans (and some independents!) are hoping he’ll run for President after he body slammed the CAIR exec Hamzi the other day.

    There have been well over 300,000 YouTube views of that encounter in just two or three days. He could be quite famous by the time the primaries roll around.

    The guy is a superstar.

  15. bocaspindoctor Says:

    Israel is State Rep. Steve Perman’s brother-in-law. Dave Aronberg would make a great candidate!

  16. Mike C. Says:

    You know the Democrats are really in trouble when they are still using Eric Johson, who worked for corrupt Charlie Crist & Robert Wexler. You already lost not because of the candidates alone but because the guy is clueless on what the Democrats want.

    He lost all the races.

    New blood old ways

  17. Riviera Beach Says:

    West is here to stay. Suck it up.

  18. Connie Says:

    If the Dems were smart they would pick a young smart attractive woman that does not listen to the old ways of the Dems down here.

    But I dont think they are smart.

  19. Jeff D Says:

    All the Dems need is someone who will call out West for his faulty logic, inaccurate historical references, and flawed philosophical point of view.

  20. swetty4020 Says:

    I find it hilarious when I see Libs shake in in their boots everytime this Patriot speaks. Allen West is vilified because he wandered off the 21st Century plantation that the Left has set up for minorities. Go find your sacrificial lamb to run against a Superstar, it’ll be fun watching the drool coming from your candidate’s mouth during the “debate”!!! There isn’t a Lib in the country who can debate this man, but you’ll try :-)

  21. South Palm Beach Says:

    Dave Aronberg, Dave Aronberg, Dave Aronberg!

    The anti-thesis to everything Allen West is: Reasoned, rational, professional, statesmanlike, likable, energetic, enthusiastic. Senator Aronberg has a long history of working with both sides of the aisle–just look what he’s doing with Pam Bondi on the pill mill issue. That’s crucial when looking at this swing district.

    A rogue, red-meat arch-conservative such as Mr. West who continiously demonizes nearly half his constituency is an ill-fit for District 22, thus he is vulnerable in 2012. But we need a good candidate.

    No Klein retread–he had his chance, and ran a poor campaign in 2010 which opened the door for this clown West to get in. Lois Frankel doesn’t strike me as likeable enough. Ann Gannon is competent but I don’t see her leaving her position.

    The answer is easy and two words: Dave Aronberg!

  22. Educator Says:

    West and Scott will be found guilty of income tax evasion. It works for the government everytime. Mark my words and quote me!

  23. Jason Says:

    Dave Aronberg has no shot….Dave stop blogging and get back to work for Blondie…see out you. You might have gone to Harvard but you still are dumb as hell.

    The dumbocrats should run Wexler..ha hah ha losers

  24. South Palm Beach Says:

    I’m sorry–Dave Aronberg is unelectable because why? He DOESN’T call conservatives “vile” or “despicable”? He won’t broadbrush all members of certain religions as terrorists? His first order of business won’t be to name as chief of staff a talk radio show host with outrageous statements to her credit?

  25. DavidW Says:

    Did West (FL 22 NUT) move into District 22 yet?

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