Former U.S. Rep. Allen West at an event sponsored by the Allen West Foundation.

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West at an event sponsored by the Allen West Foundation. (Anthony Man/Sun Sentinel / May 30, 2013)

Former Congressman Allen West is the  keynote speaker for an upcoming political event in New Hampshire, prompting speculation he’s thinking of running for president.

“The event is sure to gain national attention not only because of West's reputation, but also because it could be the beginning of a presidential campaign,” wrote James Pindell in the Political Scop column for WMUR television in New Hampshire and former publisher of the insider newsletter New Hampshire Political Report.

Pindell reported West will “ keynote the Nashua Republican Committee's annual ‘Steak Out,’ one of the major fundraising events in state politics.”

West served one term in Congress representing Broward and Palm Beach counties, but lost  his bid for a  second term last year. He’s always had a nationwide following in the tea party movement, and he’s remained involved in a range of political activities as a former member of Congress. He also hosts an Internet-based talk show and is a political commentator for Fox News, the favorite channel for  Republicans.

He’s said he won’t run for anything in 2014, but that a 2016 contest for something is possible. He hasn’t said what he might run for, and has encouraged speculation that he might run for the U.S. Senate seat held by fellow Republican Marco Rubio or for his party’s presidential nomination.

Last month he suggested he might challenge Rubio in the 2016 primary for the Senate nomination.

Here are excerpts from a May interview:

You’ve said you won’t be a candidate yourself for anything in 2014?

“2014, no.”

What about after that?

“Well, we’ll see what God leads me to do. Right now I’m busy. And far busier than what I was when I was a member [of Congress]. I think in the last month or so I’ve spoken ad the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, in Charlotte, N.C., in Dallas, Texas. Spoke at a graduation in New York City. I’ll be speaking in New York City next week. I’m here doing these things, and all of that’s on top of my normal job.”