U.S. Rep. Allen West -- the Tea Party favorite who appeared to be headed for defeat after Democrat Patrick Murphy was projected to win the 18th Congressional District race -- is being encouraged by a top state Republican Party official to run for Congress in Georgia.
"If he decides to run we could certainly use him in lots of areas," Sue Everhart, the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, told FLDemocracy and WPTV NewsChannel 5. "I would take him in a minute and we'd start finding a place at the table."
Everhart, who met West -- an Atlanta native -- at the Georgia Republican Party President's Day Dinner in 2011, said he was one of the finest congressman she had ever met and would welcome him with open arms.
"He represents what a congressman ought to be. He's done a good job and I just have a problem sometimes with why people can't see that this man went out and served him and represented him well," she said.
"He doesn't only talk the talk. He walks the walk. And has. Or he would have never been elected. If he decided to run for Congress here -- as long as it wasn't against one of our great Republican congressmen -- I would certainly get out and help him."
Earlier this year, West filed forms with the Federal Election Commission to form a joint fundraising committee with U.S. Rep. Paul Broun.
The paperwork allowed the Georgia-based committee to collect funds on West’s behalf.
Michele Hickford, a spokeswoman for Allen West for Congress, said any talk of a run in Georgia was premature.
"This election has not been decided," Hickford told FLDemocracy and WPTV NewsChannel 5. "Right now, Allen West is focused on ensuring every vote is counted accurately and fairly in Florida's 18th Congressional District. [The interest] demonstrates the broad support Allen West has generated across the country because he stands on principle and is not like the other politicians in Washington."
After a partial recount of ballots cast during the final three days of early voting in St. Lucie County, Murphy led West by a margin of more than 0.5% -- more than what would trigger an automatic recount.
Elections officials certified Murphy the winner but West has refused to concede.
Allen West for Congress called the recount a “sham” and said all eight days of early voting should be have been recounted in St. Lucie County.
The setback was the second for West in as many days.
Last week, a Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge denied a request by West to impound voting machines and recount ballots.
Judge David Crow said the arguments West’s attorneys made during a hearing on Friday fell “woefully short” of what was necessary for him to issue an injunction.
Gerald Richman, an attorney for Murphy and a key figure in the 2000 presidential recount, called the hearing a “political stunt” and “unfounded.”
West has one week left to contest the election.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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