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West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (D) announced Monday she will challenge freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).
“It is a great privilege serving as Mayor, and the most rewarding part of [the] job was creating a better economic environment for families in South Florida," Frankel said in a statement. "I know the last few years have been hard on our state and country. That is why I want to bring my record of successful job creation and economic responsibility to Florida’s 22nd District."
In 2010, West ousted two-term Rep. Ron Klein (D) from his coastal 22nd district, which includes Palm Beach and Broward counties. Klein snagged the seat in 2006 from 13-term Rep. Clay Shaw (R). The current 22nd district leans Democratic, but the lines will be redrawn before the 2012 elections. West is likely to be a top Democratic target regardless.
“I know this campaign will be hard fought, but I am not afraid of a fight. And I will not be outworked,” Frankel said.
Frankel was elected to the state House in 1986 and served 14 years there. She was elected mayor in 2003 and will leave that post next week because of term limits.
"Mr. West, his record is going to speak for itself," Frankel told local station WPBF-TV on Monday. "What I'm looking at right now, my priority is jobs, jobs, jobs — a good economic base for South Florida — someone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and work for the people of South Florida. That's me. I have the record on that.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee immediately jumped on the announcement, citing a Palm Beach Post editorial from 2004 that criticized the mayor for her management style.
“During our current economic crisis, South Floridians need a representative who will listen to them, cut wasteful spending and spur job creation, not someone who can be 'an obstacle' and a 'threat' to South Florida families,” NRCC spokeswoman Joanna Burgos said.