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Republican candidate Allen West Photo by: AP

Republican candidate Allen West attacks Dem Patrick Murphy over South Beach bar fight

\"Republican

Republican candidate Allen West Photo by: AP

It is one of the most hotly contested seats in the U.S. House and Republican Allen West has launched a new attack on Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy over a college arrest outside a Miami bar.

Neck and neck with Irish American Murphy in the polls, Allen (R-Fla.) has highlighted Murphy’s misdemeanour in a new advertising campaign.

Congressman West’s latest ad contrasts what West and Democrat Patrick Murphy were doing on Feb. 16, 2003.

Using military-style graphics, the narrator for the ad says: “Fort Hood, Texas: Lt. Col. Allen West had just received deployment orders and prepares his men to go to war.

“That night, South Beach, Miami: Patrick Murphy is thrown out of a club for fighting, covered in alcohol and unable to stand. Murphy then confronts and verbally assaults a police officer.”

Murphy, then 19, was arrested outside a bar in South Beach in 2003 on charges of disorderly intoxication and possessing a fake driver license. The case was ultimately dismissed. The candidate later called it “the biggest mistake of my life.”

The congressman’s latest ad  then lists what West was ding the same night.

“Fort Hood, Texas: Lt. Col. Allen West had just received deployment orders and prepares his men to go to war,” the narrator says over military-style graphics. “That night, South Beach, Miami: Patrick Murphy is thrown out of a club for fighting, covered in alcohol and unable to stand. Murphy then confronts and verbally assaults a police officer.”

Then just 19, Murphy was arrested outside the bar in South Beach in 2003 on charges of disorderly intoxication and possessing a fake driver license but the case was dismissed.

Murphy later admitted: “That was the biggest mistake of my life.”

Murphy’s campaign adviser Eric Johnson has warned West about dragging up the past.

Johnson said: “In 2003, West was criminally charged by the military with assault and for violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice and was subsequently kicked out of the military.

“And he’s attacking Patrick Murphy for drinking as a teenager, which I think is a silly attack.”

Reports say the military decided against court-martialing West. He was fined for using improper interrogation tactics and retired soon after.

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