WASHINGTON -- It's going to be a long campaign season in Florida's 18th District.

Just three days after the state's primary election, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy are already sparring -- and it's just about setting up a debate schedule.

West sent Murphy a letter on Tuesday -- the same day that Murphy won the Democratic nomination -- challenging him to four debates. He proposed a debate in each of the three counties in their district, which runs along Florida's southeastern coast, and another one in the geographical center of the district. West also dictated what the topics of each debate would be: two on economic security, one on energy security and another on national security.

"The format, location, date and sponsor of each of these debates can be negotiated between a designated staff member of West for Congress and Murphy for Congress over the next several days," reads West's letter.

West began his letter by congratulating Murphy on his win, but he almost immediately began trashing Murphy for the tone of his campaign and accusing him of lacking substance.

"Since announcing your intention to run for the United States Congress, your campaign has been replete with negative attacks, but you have yet to offer specific ideas or solutions. It is time for you to address the issues," West said in the letter.

At first, Murphy's campaign didn't respond. But on Friday, he sent a letter saying it was a "pleasant surprise" that West asked him to debate, since West previously turned down invitations to debates and forums. Murphy also pointed out that West refused to debate his GOP primary opponent, Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder, telling the Palm Beach Post at the time, "I refuse to waste the voters' time by dignifying Crowder's cynical political maneuvering."

But instead of agreeing to West's debates, Murphy proposed they debate at two specific events, both of which Murphy has already agreed to attend. The first would air on a local television show, "To The Point," and voters would submit topics ahead of time. The second would be moderated by the St. Lucie County League of Women Voters on Oct. 5.

Murphy said he hoped they could hold debates focused on substantive issues -- and criticized West for some of his controversial past comments.

"Since the beginning of your career, debate in a civil tone has not been one of your strong suits. Instead you have launched some of the most outrageous verbal attacks ever heard in modern politics," Murphy wrote. "Nevertheless, the voters deserve to see their candidates together in a civil debate of the serious problems facing our community and the nation."

So far, neither camp appears willing to agree to the other's debate proposition. A West campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Murphy campaign spokesman Anthony Kusich said Murphy's letter is essentially a "no" to West's debate proposal.

"You could say that," Kusich said.

The West-Murphy race is one of the most closely watched in the country, and it's already off to a fast start. Within 24 hours of winning his nomination, Murphy launched a television ad slamming West for twice voting to "end Medicare as we know it," a reference to West's support for the House Republican budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). West pushed back, saying Democrats do not have a plan for preserving Medicare.

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  • The Republic Will Collapse

    "It's much the same as Alexis de Tocqueville talked about in 'Democracy In America' -- that this American republic will collapse once Congress and obviously our president realizes they can bribe the public by using the public's treasury," Allen West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/allen-west-obama-republic-will-collapse_n_1428851.html" target="_hplink">told a Florida Tea Party group</a>.

  • Communists

    "I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party," Allen West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/allen-west-democrats-communist-party_n_1417279.html" target="_hplink">said at a town hall</a>. "It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus."

  • 'Racist' Tax

    "You want to talk about something that's really racist?" West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/06/allen-west-tanning-salon-tax-racist-_n_1408454.html" target="_hplink">said at a Florida retirement home</a>, referring to a 10 percent tax on tanning salons. "They have a tanning tax. I'm not tanning."

  • Clothing Choices

    Mocking Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) for wearing a hoodie on the House floor, West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/allen-west-bobby-rush-hoodie_n_1389170.html" target="_hplink">said</a>, "I'm thinking about a University of Tennessee big orange colored hoodie-footie, and, you know, see if I can sneak by the security and get in there."

  • Handicapped-Accessible Pools

    "This is another example of the bureaucratic nanny-state not considering the economic ramifications of its insidious regulatory policies," West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/allen-west-handicapped-access_n_1385186.html" target="_hplink">said of a proposed regulation</a> to make all public pools handicapped-accessible. "I have talked with and received letters from several South Florida hotels saying this is a wasteful exercise that will cost Florida businesses a lot of money and accomplish nothing."

  • Suicide Mission

    "Anyone challenging me on my support to this visionary plan to restore our economic security will be signing up for a suicide mission," West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/allen-west-paul-ryan-budget_n_1372386.html" target="_hplink">wrote on his Facebook</a> about the Ryan budget. "My recommendation to any detractors, read Proverbs 17:28 and heed its advice. It is time for those who understand how to govern, not demagogue."

  • Stock Markets

    West credited the possibility of a Republican winning the 2012 election for helping improve the stock market. "I would think maybe the markets are looking five to six months down the road when we have a change in leadership in this country," <a href="http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2012/03/allen_west_says_stock_market_i.php" target="_hplink">he said on Fox</a>.

  • Osama Bin Laden

    West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/allen-west-obama-osama-bin-laden_n_1316160.html" target="_hplink">wrote on his Facebook</a> that Barack Obama should stop talking about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. "Please stop with the Osama Bin Laden line, U.S. Navy SEALS double-tapped that rascal," he wrote.

  • 'Second Holocaust'

    West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/allen-west-second-holocaust-israel-iran_n_1304297.html" target="_hplink">warned</a> that the U.S. might not be doing enough to protect Israel against Iran: <blockquote>"You're looking at a second Holocaust" if Israel doesn't "know they can trust and depend upon the stars and stripes ... to provide them support," West told attendees of a town hall meeting last week at First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., according to the Palm Beach Post.</blockquote>

  • 'Insidious Form Of Slavery'

    "The Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today, and it does not promote economic freedom," West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/16/allen-west-slavery-democratic-handouts_n_1281570.html" target="_hplink">said in a speech</a>.

  • 'Get The Hell Out'

    "Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else," West <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/28/allen-west-liberals-get-out-florida-primary-2012_n_1239247.html" target="_hplink">said, referring to Democratic leaders</a>. "You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America."

  • Nazi Comparison

    "If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/allen-west-joseph-goebbels-democrats-propaganda_n_1152365.html" target="_hplink">West said in a speech</a>.

  • Harriet Tubman

    "I'm here as the modern day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility," West said while <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/18/allen-west-harriet-tubman_n_930052.html" target="_hplink">making an analogy</a> in which he also compared black leaders like Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) to a "plantation boss."

  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    In an email to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/19/allen-west-debbie-wasserman-schultz_n_904047.html" target="_hplink">West wrote</a>, "You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up."