WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- While the White House is the ultimate prize in November, control of Congress is a close second. One of the Democrats' key targets in that fight is Rep. Allen West.
Democrats view him as public enemy number one: Allen West simply rubs them the wrong way. They are fighting his insults by funneling millions of dollars to his challenger, Patrick Murphy.
"People like Allen West, with the name-calling and the hatred that he preaches on a day-to-day basis, I think it's really killing us," Murphy said at a local meeting.
West told CBN News there's a reason Democrats are out to get him and it starts with the fact that he's black and conservative.
"I'm not the story that they want to get out there," West said. "If this type of story gets out, then what happens to that consistent voting electorate that they have in the black community?"
West and Murphy are competing in a newly formed district that stretches along Florida's coast, from West Palm Beach to Fort Pierce.
The process, known as redistricting, made West's old district less conservative so he is now trying to win in this new district.
The competition has led to nasty advertising, like one West spot showing a 10-year-old mug shot of Patrick Murphy after his arrest for an alleged drunken brawl. Murphy ran an ad with children reciting words Allen West has used against Democrats.
Murphy would not talk with CBN News but we asked West what his sense was of opponent.
"Just an empty suit that I think his dad wants to buy him a congressional seat so that his dad can have political influence in Washington, D.C.," he said of his opponent.
Murphy's father backs a political action committee that's running controversial ads against West.
"He's whacked women with his vote for huge cuts on women's healthcare funding," one ad claims.
Political action committees are not allowed to coordinate with political campaigns.
"When your dad is starting a PAC just for you and, you know, he's the major contributor, you can't tell me first of all that there's no collaboration between dad and son on this. And that's all this is," West said.
The West campaign has been fighting back with West's wife taking to the airwaves.
"I do my best to avoid political mudslinging but recent attacks on my husband go too far," she says in one ad.
The belief by Murphy's campaign and national Democrats is that West's rhetoric will turn off moderate voters in his new district.
"He's very conservative, and in some ways it makes him a very good target because he's so over the top so often that it gives the Democrats something to really push on," Dr. Charles Zeldon, professor at NOVA Southeastern University.
"While that plays well to the very hard core conservatives, the Tea Partiers, it's the moderate to conservative Republicans, will they go for him?" he said.
But the way West sees it, he's going to continue speaking the truth the only way he knows how.
"That comes back around to why the other side does not like me -- because I show the political courage that they will never be able to show," he said. "Not just standing up against them, but standing up for that which is right for our country."
"And I'll continue to do it because it's pretty simple," he added. "And when I go to Isaiah 54:19, that helps me to understand, when it says, 'No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn.'"