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. Courtney

    I am from FL and I must say I'm so ashamed of my home state .I regret not for voting for Alex sink I didn't vote at all when Charlie Chris term was up but I will when its Rick Scott time to run for office again the people will never forget what he did.I hope mitt was worth risking his career for b/c this just might cost him his chance to be re elected .I'm sick of the repuds ruining FL when was the last time FL had a Dem gover ?.But besides all that I'm glad me and my family voted for Obama in 2008 and again in 2012 .Obama is a good man and I like what he has to offer for the everyday working American people and I think America made the right decision on Tuesday night. And now finally Mitt can go back living in his rich little fantasy world,mitt you can't handle reality so stay out of it lol. By the way West you is one sad sick little puppy and I highly suggest you seek some help ASAP it time to see the shrink West.

    November 10, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. Name Voice Crying in the Wilderness

    Pay back is a-— what is that term they use? Take it like a man, sir.

    November 10, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. J 'cincinnati' Redd

    It is truely sad that you guys speak so low about a man who put his life on the line for his country. That being said i do believe that he needs help, somthin is wrong with him.

    November 10, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. Expat American

    This is the beginning of the end for Conservatives in Washington...and the dawn of a new brighter day for the nation...Time to mobilize and get rid of the rest of them in 2014 and 2016!!!

    November 10, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. Dave Harris

    Isn't this the guy who calls everybody a communist? He's not even in the current century. What a bizarro. Of course, in Florida, that's an asset.

    November 10, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  6. James B Doerrer

    Mark_in_FL

    Are you a comedy writer? That was great sarcasm.

    November 10, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. jim crow

    west u needs to quit it now boy

    November 10, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  8. Josaphat Daniels

    How did this no good son of a gun get elected in the first place.

    November 10, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Former Republican, now an Independent

    West should "man-up" and concede the election. He can't deal with the fact that he wasn't unbeatable.

    November 10, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. Dan5404

    He needs to join the other radicals of the GOP whose extremism cost them their jobs.

    November 10, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Mr. West doesn't seem to understand that he is no longer in the army and can say anything about anyone. I don't see him really serving the country and his district because he distracts from the actual needs of the country.

    November 10, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    See ya West. Don't let door hit you on the way out. I guess your tokenism is no longer needed. Next up, good ole boy, zombie looking Gov Scott. Floridians ought to have him recalled.

    November 10, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. Peace

    West, just disappear and go and sit on the Beach Bench you showed in your Ad during the campaign. We will all be in peace without seeing your face again.

    November 10, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. Ed Fikani

    Get ready Florida, Heir Rove is a desperate man looking to redeem himself to all the billionaires he bilked out of big money. He will drop a bundle more of money on looney toon West just to say "Hey look what our SuperPACs can do to buy judges when all else fails.

    November 10, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    The count has been finalised. It awaits official confirmation later this month where I guess certain checks and balances automatically take place to ensure the elections overall validity.
    That said it is appalling that West cannot abide by the electoral laws of his own state where the margin of victory does not allow him to demand a re-count of any type.
    Reluctant to concede he can be but his only option is to wait for certification and then see if grounds exist for a challenge .... unlikely... but it is Florida chads and all that.
    regards,
    Hodgson.

    November 10, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. Penny Wright

    Say goodnight, Allen

    November 10, 2012 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Allen , don't concede , stay in the bunker till the better end , remember the Alamo !
    Karl Rove and Reince Priebus both wish they could be there , unfortunately they are busy explaining to big doners there no refund policy .

    TEAPARTY FOREVER !

    November 10, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  18. len

    Mr.west, you lost, go away

    November 11, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  19. dhw1949

    Looks like the demonrats are showing their true colors here. Are you folks satisfied that you had a 143% of the registered voters vote? Typical tactics of the "party" notorious for sleezy underhanded tactics.

    November 11, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  20. Citizen-Soldier

    I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve (the same rank at which West retired from active duty). I find it appalling and embarrasing that one who wore the uniform so proudly would conduct himself now so foolishly. How fortunate it is that he no longer leads our young men and women. They deserve better, as do the citizens of Florida. Army Strong!

    November 11, 2012 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  21. Mtheumer

    Cain/West 2016!

    Just kidding!

    November 11, 2012 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  22. Veteran

    St. Lucie county has a glitch in the voting, 148% of registered voters showed up!?!? Those New York snowbirds know how
    to play the machine! Other counties are reporting that they have as much as 121% voter turnout!

    For a simple explanation, let's say there are a million registered voters in a county, and 1,480,000 ballots
    are in the pile to be counted. Next, seeing this is a huge problem, we go and examine the sign-in books.

    Hmmmmm! There are only 1 millon signatures! That equates to election fraud, and the entire thing gets tossed out.

    But, several counties report the same problem! Oh-oh!

    So, the "problem" is that we have ballots in too strong numbers to actually be genuine?

    States that used electronic machines don't have an audit trail, so, they aren't reporting these problems!

    Florida isn't the "dumb" one, the states that don't have a paper record of voting are stupid!

    Romney is invested in some of the companies that had ownership of some of the companies that make
    electronic voting machines... but, most machines are over ten years old, long gone in computer terms!

    November 11, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  23. Republican supporter of President Obama

    West is a joke and has no grip on reality. Time to realize the loss and fade away like Willard.

    November 11, 2012 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  24. inextremis

    Astonished that a guy who was cashiered for shooting a pistol by an Iraqi prisoner's head could have a concealed carry permit in Florida–and I'm not anti-gun, I carry myself

    November 11, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  25. Maryellen

    I don't trust Florida's voting process, I hope to God they don't find 5,000 votes for King hiding someplace! Nothing would surprise me out of Florida, they just can't get it right.

    November 11, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
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