Former Congressman Allen West will not challenge his political rival U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy in 2014, according to media reports published Wednesday.
The Palm Beach Gardens Republican narrowly lost to Murphy in November for the North Palm Beach-Treasure Coast House District 18 seat.
West is expected to return to the limelight after taking a TV job with PJ Media as director of their Next Generation programming, according to a media release. He told Fox News he’ll begin hosting an online TV show called “Next Generation Today,” according to The Associated Press.
He did not entirely rule out a run in another district, the AP reported.
“I am truly honored to be a member of the PJ Media and PJTV team and to continue to be a voice advocating for principled, pragmatic solutions to the issues affecting our constitutional republic,” West said in a statement released by PJ Media. “I enjoyed my time serving as a member of the 112th Congress. However, those who think losing a congressional race defines me and ends my service to my country fail to realize what drives my patriotism and passion for America. True leaders do not need a title, just a conviction, a cause, and the character enabling them to make a stand.”
During his campaign, West’s fundraising abilities made his Congressional race one of the most costly in the country.
The former military officer was a national political force adored by the Tea Party and other conservatives who amassed a campaign war chest of $19 million, compared to about $4 million raised by Murphy.
In his prepared statement, West said he knew there was much speculation about his next move after November’s election.
“One thing everyone needs to recognize is that I do not often do the predictable,” West said. “PJ Media will give me the freedom to explore a multitude of topics and relate them to our next generation in a nonconventional manner.”
Attempts to reach West Wednesday were unsuccessful.
According to the Palm Beach Post, when West was asked what his new TV venture means in terms of a political future, he replied via text message:
“My commitment is to the future of the next generation of Americans. The conversation should not be about me but what is the legacy we shall leave to our children and grandchildren, greater debt, a less secure Country and world, diminished opportunity? Shall we be the first generation to fail to ensure the American dream for future generations? So if all you want to know is if I am running for Congressional district 18, the answer is no. My sights and objectives, political and otherwise, are focused on something far greater.”
Meanwhile, if West returns to politics and decided to challenge Gov. Rick Scott in a gubernatorial match up, West could have a slight edge with voters, according to a Public Policy Polling survey reported in the Miami Herald.
A new PPP survey shows that when Florida residents were asked about the men’s favorability, Scott trailed West 37 percent to 38 percent, the Herald reported. Florida voter approval of Scott’s job performance was 33 percent, with 57 percent disapproving, the survey showed.