Freshman Republican Rep. Allen West, a favorite lawmaker among the tea party movement who represents the 22th Congressional District of Florida, announced Monday that he would not run for the Senate in 2012.
“I have been given one of the highest honors to serve in the House of Representatives and I will continue to serve the citizens in that capacity,” West said in a statement.
“I will not seek the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2012. With regard to my future, the only goal I have is to do my very best to represent the constituents of the Congressional District and to restore the exceptionalism of our nation.”
Republicans are hoping to knock Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson out of his seat in 2012, but have expressed dissatisfaction with their current potential candidates.
West has repeatedly made headlines for his controversial statements and attacks on Democratic lawmakers. He called Obama a “low-level socialist agitator” and more recently sent a nasty email to Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in which West said she was “the most vile, unprofessional, and despicable member of the U.S. House” and “not a lady.”
Last week, West said he was helping black voters escape slavery of the “21st-century plantation” overseen by black liberals like Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and called himself “the modern-day Harriet Tubman.”