Rep. West's Florida seat remains undecided
November 10th, 2012
02:52 PM ET
1 year ago

Rep. West's Florida seat remains undecided

(CNN) - Despite a declaration of victory from Rep. Allen West's Democratic challenger, the bitter and expensive race for Florida's 18th congressional district remained unsettled on Saturday.

The state released new unofficial vote totals on Saturday following the noon reporting deadline. Those preliminary numbers showed Democrat Patrick Murphy, who is vice president of an environmental cleanup firm, with an edge of about 2,400 votes among 331,000 ballots cast.

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Results of the race will be officially certified on November 20. Although Murphy has declared victory, West has not conceded.

West, a first term Republican congressman and retired Army lieutenant colonel, and Patrick were locked in one of the country's most expensive races for a U.S. House seat, according to a ranking prepared by the Center for Responsive Politics. West raised $17 million through mid-October and Murphy brought in $3.7 million, according for Federal Election Commission records.

That money has been used, in part, to exchange messy blows in television ads.

Following the updated unofficial vote counts, Murphy declared victory.

"It is now time to put the campaign behind us," he said in a statement. "I am honored that the voters of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches have chosen me to be their voice in Congress. Regardless of whether they voted for me or my opponent, I am committed to representing the interests of all residents of Florida's 18th Congressional District in Washington."

West's campaign manager responded that the race remains undecided and accused an elections supervisor of "hostility and dangerous incompetence."

"Given the dramatic vote shift late in the night on election night in St. Lucie County, we are still waiting on the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections to make available the voter check-in books to ensure they match the number of votes cast," campaign manager Tim Edson said in a statement.

"There is no rush,” he said. “Ensuring an accurate outcome is our only focus."

Later on Saturday, his campaign said in a separate statement, "With all provisional and absentee votes counted in the 18th District, Congressman West currently trails by roughly 2,400 votes, a margin outside of the threshold for an automatic recount. The race remains undecided because there are issues that still need to be resolved in St. Lucie County. Late on Election Night, Congressman West led by 1,700 votes. Following the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections' decision to recount thousands of early ballots after a technical glitch, the margin shifted by 4,000.

"In order to ensure that votes were not doubled counted, we have requested that the St. Lucie Supervisor of Elections make public the poll check-in books to ensure the numbers of ballots cast matches the numbers of voters checked-in at the polls. Once that information is provided we believe the outcome of the election will be clear," the statement read.

West has drawn attention for a series of controversial comments, including his allegation that several members of Congress are members of the Communist Party, his terming of fellow Floridian Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz as “vile,” and a charge that a Muslim member of Congress represents "the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established."

CNN's Robert Yoon contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Allen West • Florida
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. LindaPP

    In addition to kicking Alan West out, why in the world did the people also not kick out Michelle Bachmann?? Please somebody tell me why?? She is also in need of psychiatric help!

    November 11, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  2. nostradomus

    West, head east. Into the Atlantic.

    November 11, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. MFVJR

    Why is this guy trying his best to hang on to his seat? Is it for the love of working with a "bunch of commie cadre" in Congress? Surely he will miss them!

    November 11, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. bb

    Don't stop now state of Florida, since you're on a roll at getting rid of all the good-for-nothing politicians, the governor should be next.

    November 11, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  5. R33906

    What seat is undecided? It's not undecided just because some one refuses to concede

    November 11, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
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