Judging from Rep. Allen West’s first TV ad of his 2012 re-election campaign, which debuted today, viewers could be forgiven if they mistake the Florida Republican as a long-shot upstart and not the freshman incumbent that he is.
And for a congressman with an astonishingly large campaign war chest worth $7.6 million at the end of March — more than triple the amount of anyone else running for the House from the Sunshine State — South Florida voters can likely expect more ads to hit the airwaves from the outspoken lawmaker in the months leading up to the November election.
“Washington is broken. But we will fix it,” Mr. West says in the ad, which is peppered with images of military personnel. The congressman was a career Army officer before being elected in 2010.
The ad concludes with these lines: “Some say that I push too hard, that I ask too much. My response — I’m just getting started. That’s the American way.”
Mr. West, a tea party favorite when he was first elected to office, faces a primary challenge from Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder, who has raised nearly $27,000 through March, the latest campaign finance date available from the Federal Election Commission. Democratic frontrunner Patrick Murphy has raised $1.8 million, more than any other challenger running for the House in Florida.