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A West victory in November is far from a guarantee. He first must fend off a well-known primary opponent in Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder, who has raised less than $27,000 through April.

And Democratic front-runner Patrick Murphy has raised about $1.8 million - a huge amount for an upstart challenge this early in the race.

Redistricting also will pose a re-election challenge for Mr. West. The GOP-controlled state Legislature redrew his district to include more Democrats, which led him to relocate and run for re-election in a different nearby district with fewer Democratic voters.

The new map caused many - including Mr. West - to wonder if the Florida Republican establishment was trying to squeeze him out.

Kevin Wagner, a political science professor at Florida Atlantic University, said Mr. West’s “pragmatic” voting tendencies likely will help, not hurt, his re-election odds in a district not winnable by a pure tea-party candidate.

“You have to appeal to other kinds of voters here, and I think he’s capable of doing it,” Mr. Wagner said.