Is Allen West a one-term congressman?

Almost as soon as he was sworn in, West attracted two would-be 2012 challengers. One is former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel, who will bring a considerable local base of support from her two terms as mayor and six terms in the Florida State House. The other is Patrick Murphy, a 28-year-old Broward County builder who left the GOP in response to the rise of the Tea Party and who has already accepted a $2,000 donation from former governor Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-independent. Florida has a late congressional primary, so barring a sudden withdrawal from the race, Frankel and Murphy will be fighting it out all the way to August 28, 2012…

However, West will find himself in a tougher district only if state GOP lawmakers decide to give him one. The Florida House redistricting committee is scheduled to review public input on new lines through the end of the year and officially approve a new plan by March 9, 2012. Sometime within the 60 days after the governor signs it into law, the U.S. Department of Justice has to preclear the plan. Republicans hold large majorities in the Florida House (81 to 39) and Senate (28 to 12), and the governor, Rick Scott, is a Republican, so it is hard to envision them knowingly endangering incumbent U.S. House Republicans like West.

“West is in a good position, as long as he continues to do a good job as the district’s representative,” says Javier Manjarres, managing editor of The Shark Tank, a blog focusing on Florida politics. “I have been told that the grand poobahs are out to solidify his seat — they need him in Congress.” In fact, Manjarres adds that he is hearing talk of expanding West’s district north, to include some of the Republican-leaning communities in Rooney’s district.