Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL), the tea party firebrand who lost to Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) in the last election, is now toying with the idea of running for Senate — if, and only if, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) decides to run for president in 2016.
“If that became an open seat, of course I would run,” West told The Tampa Bay Times. “I have a good statewide appeal and a lot of people would like me to get back on Capitol Hill.”
The comments, made in a report published on Thursday, contrast rumors that West had been considering a primary challenge against Rubio. But West said that did not seem like “a viable option” currently.West stressed though that nothing was set in stone.
“I’m not saying what I will do or what I won’t do,” he said. “But I’m not looking to be disruptive. I’m about the American team. I’m about doing whatever I can to help the Republican Party. But I’m going to stick to my principles.”
West, who once billed himself as a “modern-day Harriet Tubman,” has kept himself busy since he left office. He’s launched an internet television program, weighed in on national issues like the Trayvon Martin case and Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comments, funded the nonprofit Allen West Foundation, completed a book manuscript, and also made multiple appearances on Fox News.
But desires for a Sen. Allen West may have dwindled along with thoughts of a President Marco Rubio. Rumors of Rubio running for president have subsided alongside congressional impetus for quickly passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill (of which Rubio was a big backer).
West could always look outside the Sunshine State if Rubio stays out of the 2016 pool. In late 2012, Sue Everhart, the chairwoman of the Georgia Republican Party, suggested that West move there.
“I would be glad to have him come back to Georgia and at some point run here,” Everhart said. “I would certainly try to help him because he has done his job. The way he ran his race didn’t in any way interfere with the job he did. He ran as a Republican, a conservative Republican.”