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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida's hottest Congressional race?



Money is pouring into Florida's 22nd Congressional district and making it an early favorite for race to watch in 2012.

Incumbent Rep. Allen West said today that he raised more than $1.5 million for the second quarter, demonstrating his appeal to tea party Republicans across the country. "To date, the average contribution to the West for Congress campaign is approximately $66 per donation, with 99% of contributions coming from individual donors," according to a news release.

But political watchers have been surprised by Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, who last week said he pulled in $450,000, topping the $350,000 he previously raised, more than any other challenger in the country. In a statement today, Murphy said, "All the money Allen West has raised from the Tea Party isn't going to make his stances on the issues more rational to South Florida voters or less dangerous to our country."

Murphy has to get by well-known Democrat Lois Frankel before he can take on West.

[Last modified: Monday, July 11, 2011 7:41pm]


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