Allen West already near the top of Dems’ list for House challenges in 2012

It’s a similar story in Florida, where Democrats say GOP Rep.-elect Allen West, an outspoken tea party favorite who defeated Democratic Rep. Ron Klein, presents an enticing target. The Florida Republican stumbled earlier last month when he named a local conservative radio host who had been supportive of his campaign to serve as chief of staff — a move West later backtracked on after he came under criticism.

“As it stands now, he’s certainly a focus,” said Brian Smoot, a former DCCC political director who ran Klein’s 2006 race for the Democratic-leaning South Beach-area seat. “Even if the district is drawn differently, I think West will have a difficult time.”