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Allen West: I'm not running for U.S. Senate

Rep. Allen West, who said he would not run for U.S. Senate but then said he might, now says he won't.

"Over the last several weeks, numerous leaders of the Florida Republican Party, including current and past elected officials, have spoken to me about the race for the United States Senate. Out of respect, I was willing to listen," West said in a statement issued by his congressional campaign.

West, a tea party hero with a proven ability to raise money, could have scrambled the dynamics of the Republican primary. But he said the voters of Florida's 22nd Congressional District "sent me to Capitol Hill to right our fiscal ship of state, to work to rebuild our economy and to create jobs."

That job, he added, is not done.

"For the last two weeks, I have traveled the congressional district and spoken clearly to the citizens that while we have made progress these last seven months, there is still so much to accomplish for our country. I believe the place where I can best effect the needed change is from the People's House - the House of Representatives," West said.

"I have been given one of the highest honors to serve in the House of Representatives and I will continue to serve the citizens in that capacity. I will not seek the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2012. With regard to my future, the only goal I have is to do my very best to represent the constituents of the Congressional District and to restore the exceptionalism of our nation."