Rep. West's Florida seat remains undecided
November 10th, 2012
02:52 PM ET
2 years 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. Emma in Baltimore

    Congratulations Mr. Murphy!

    November 10, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. GWB

    West is today's version of McCarthy. Give it up Allen, you're toast.

    November 10, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Akira

    Oh, for heaven's sake...concede already!
    What is it about Florida that they cannot hold an election and count the votes in a timely manner?

    November 10, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Doyle Wiley, MI

    It would be a great day for U.S. politics if West lost. I really wouldn't care who replaced him Republican or Democrat.

    November 10, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Jack in Florida

    One can only hope that Allen West is defeated. He watches Fox news a little too often!!!

    November 10, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. kounjd

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    November 10, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Clyde

    Congrats Patrick Murphy. West is a lost brother...he should just go away.

    November 10, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    Uppity Allen West lives in denial, like all of his party.

    November 10, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    Oops, I forgot the sarcasm tags around "Uppity".

    November 10, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    West is delusional, and by his defeat, the average IQ of congress will increase.

    November 10, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. NauticalMan

    Didn't he say there were somewhere around 28 or 38 members of the U.S. House who were members of the Communist Party?
    To the best of my knowledge there probably aren't more than 50 communists left in the United States!

    November 10, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Shouldn't Allen West first be examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist to determine whether he is sane? Because based on his words and actions, I think he's nuts!

    November 10, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. bb

    It is not surprising that Allen West has not conceded the race. He does not want to loose his six figure salary, free healthcare benefits that are the same benefits he wants to repeal for the rest of America, paid vacations, travel expense account, retirement plan, free money from donors, and all the prestige that comes with being a congressman.

    Sorry Allen, in the words of Donald Trump... you're fired!

    November 10, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    It's been decided – he's pulling a delusional rove on everyone and just wants to make a big stink. He didn't even get close enough to trigger an automatic recount.

    Good Riddance (as soon as he man's up, put's on his big girl pink panties, and concedes). He was a trouble-maker in the military and he's still a trouble-maker. He went crying to Glenn Beck to get help to get his widdle votes we-counted. boo hoo hoo hoo.

    November 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  15. miamimike

    He's no longer in my district so I couldn't vote against him, but I was happy to donate to Patric Murphy's campaign to get rid of this psyco. Good luck and best wishes to Congressman Murphy.

    November 10, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. bibleverse1

    Why are people voting for this guy.

    November 10, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Jon

    It seems that the Republican trick backfired on them

    November 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Mark_in_FL

    West and the rest of the Tea Party GOP better grab life jackets quickly because they are up to their necks in Da Nile!!!!

    November 10, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Pack your trash and go home West.

    November 10, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. lensmith

    Glad you won Congressman – elect Murphy.

    November 10, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  21. Joan m. Harris

    Although I am not a resident of Florida, I wish Florida would get rid of Allen West, he is an embarrassment to the State, which compounds Florida's problems (the voting process).

    November 10, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. suzy

    I too am baffled as to why people would vote for this creep. I no longer live in St. Lucie County, but I too sent Patrick Murphy a contribution to help get West out of office. I can understand the mistake of voting him in 2010, but come on, he is a dangerous nut case

    November 10, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. Mel

    The Republicans won't be needing the life jackets remember they are the ones with all the money. It's the ones losing their jobs due to this economy.

    November 10, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Supernova

    Republicans please repeat: "Democrats won by a landslide. The American People have spoken!" If you can say this, then you are brave and honest.

    November 10, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  25. rtcell

    I don't care who is elected there,. but you guys are having too much gloating over West loosing. Sounds like he stepped on some blisters and told some truth (together with some BS), otherwise there would not be that much vile against him. So much for the "united we stand"

    November 10, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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