(SUN-SENTINEL) — Boosted by conservative fans across the country, South Florida U.S. Rep. Allen West has raised more money for his re-election campaign than any other House candidate this year except for Speaker John Boehner.
West, a Republican freshman and tea-party favorite from Plantation, raised $5.8 million through Dec. 31, more than $8 for every resident he hopes to represent in a newly drawn district anchored in northern Palm Beach County. Most of that money comes from outside Florida, a sign that his closely watched race has reverberations well beyond his home state.
West is spending money almost as fast as he collects it, leaving $2.7 million of cash on hand. His big haul reflects an extensive network of conservative donors, the effectiveness of direct-mail fundraising and the far-reaching impact of his national exposure through TV news appearances.
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About 3,000 miles from South Florida, Don Boos, 73, a landscape architect in Gardnerville, Nev., was so impressed with West's TV interviews that he sent $300 to him late last year.