Martin County Sheriff Crowder decides to challenge Allen West in GOP congressional primary

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Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder will run for Congress and hopes to take office in January when his current term as the county’s top law enforcer runs out.

Crowder spoke first to CBS 12’s Jana Eschbach today to announce his candidacy.

Crowder says he wants the people of the Treasure Coast represented by the people of the Treasure Coast, not by someone brought in to represent the area.

Crowder is talking about Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, a tea party Republican who announced plans to run for the 18th district seat after Rep. Tom Rooney is moving to the district in central Florida. West faced an uphill battle in his current district, redrawn in redistricting by the GOP-controlled state House.

Crowder has more than 50 years in public service, serving as the undersheriff of St Lucie County for more than a decade, and Sheriff of Martin County for 20 years.

He says he won’t go to Washington and be “changed by the city,” plans on doing what is best for the region.

Crowder spoke with former State Sen. President Ken Pruit, who declined to run for Congress, before making up his mind.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.