(CNN) - Freshman Republican Rep. Allen West, who was backed by the Tea Party in last November's election, has drawn another challenger in the 2012 race for Florida's 22nd Congressional District.
Democrat Lois Frankel, the mayor of West Palm Beach, announced Monday that she will challenge West for the seat. Frankel, who has been mayor for 8 years and is term-limited, is also a former Florida state representative. Fort Lauderdale businessman and Democrat Patrick Murphy announced his candidacy for the seat last week.
In a statement announcing her candidacy, Frankel touted her economic record as mayor and pushed for more bipartisan cooperation in Washington.
"As a mayor and the mother of a veteran and small business owner, I know what families need to do to get by in these tough times" Frankel said in the statement. "Family budgets must be balanced with thought and care. That is why as Mayor of West Palm Beach we balanced our budget while also promoting economic revitalization."
"I am not running for Congress to win favor with the Washington extremists and I am not motivated the same tired partisan fights. I believe it's about time we put the interests of our local economy and families first," Frankel said.
West, an Iraq War veteran and one of two Republican African Americans serving in the House, last month delivered the keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). In his address, West laid out his vision for conservatives' future, outlining three "pillars of conservatism" - including "effective and efficient principles of government," "peace through vigilance, resolve, and strength," and a commitment to "never abandon values."
During the speech, West also pushed back on recent analysis that rated him "one of the most vulnerable representatives" for his next election, telling the CPAC crowd, "I've got to tell you; standing in front of you, I don't feel so vulnerable, do I?"
West defeated two-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Klein by 54 percent to 46 percent during the 2010 election. Prior to Klein, 13-term Republican Congressman Clay Shaw held the seat.
He is also one of a group of Republicans the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has already begun targeting in ads on radio stations and web sites, as well as launch automated telephone calls.
West has not been within controversy since arriving in Washington. Last month he faced heat over comments directed at Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, who he said represents "the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."
The congressman later defended those comments in a town hall when pressed on the issue by Nezar Hamze, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Miami.
"I will always defend your right to practice a free religion under the First Amendment," West told Hamze. "But what you must understand, if I am speaking the truth, I am not going to stop speaking the truth. The truth is not subjective."