For today’s Race of the Day – I’m excited to have the opportunity to shed light on one of the marquee races of this cycle - Allen West vs. Ron Klein in Florida's 22nd Congressional District.
Florida’s 22nd Congressional District stretches along the coastline from the upper portion of Broward County in the south to Palm Beach County in the north. The district was represented for seven terms by Republican Clay Shaw from 1992 until Democrat Ron Klein won the seat in the Democrat wave year of 2006 by a 51%-48% margin. It was also Ground Zero for the 2000 Presidential election drama between Democratic nominee Al Gore and eventual winner George W. Bush on the Republican side. President Obama won the district by a 52%-48% margin and it is scored as a D+1 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index, underscoring the tossup nature of the seat.
Prior to his election in this swing district in South Florida in 2006, Ron Klein previously served as a state senator. But instead of representing his constituents, he's marched in lockstep with Speaker Pelosi from Day One, voting with her 98.1% of the time.
In 2008, voters sent him a message. West, a first-time candidate, shocked pundits across the country by garnering 45% against the freshman incumbent, despite being outspent$2.37 million to $555,000 in a very anti-Republican political climate. Unfortunately, Klein didn't get the memo. He's continued to rubber-stamp almost every single piece of Pelosi's liberal agenda - the stimulus, cap-and-trade, the budget and the healthcare bill.
Allen West is different. He's dedicated to our great nation, not Pelosi. His conservative values were instilled in him by his parents, who taught him one important principle: love of God and Country. He went on to become a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, serving in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom (where he was battalion commander for the Army’s 4th Infantry Division), and in Afghanistan, where he trained Afghan officers to take on the responsibility of securing their own country.
Allen's ability to energize the conservative grassroots, combined with Klein's stubborn refusal to represent his district instead of Pelosi, has him running strong in his 2010 re-match. He's raised over $2 million and has $1.12 million in the bank - more than nearly every GOP challenger in the country.
Furthermore, his message is catching fire where it matters most: the district. A recent poll shows him with a narrow 44-42 lead over Klein.
We have an excellent chance to win this race. That's why Allen was one of the NRCC's first ten "Young Guns."
Please take a minute to check out Allen's website to learn more about his campaign and Florida’s 22nd Congressional District – and check back tomorrow for our next update.