West concedes in tight congressional race after recount
November 20th, 2012
07:59 AM ET
2 years ago

West concedes in tight congressional race after recount

(CNN) - Two weeks after Election Day, Rep. Allen West, R-Florida, conceded Tuesday to Democrat Patrick Murphy following a bitter campaign that resulted in a recount and legal action in Florida's 18th Congressional District.

The first-term congressman made his announcement the same day the unofficial results are to be certified by Florida's secretary of state. West had vowed he would not give up until the results, which consistently showed Murphy with a narrow lead, had become certified.

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"Given the extremely high evidentiary hurdles involved in a successful challenge, I will not ask my generous supporters to help fund a drawn-out, expensive legal effort with little chance of success. Therefore, we will not contest the certification or challenge the seating of Congressman-elect Murphy," West said in a statement on Facebook.

West had petitioned the courts for a recount, a request that was denied Friday. However, a canvassing board ordered the retabulation, citing sufficient concern to grant the re-examination of the votes, according to CNN affiliate WPBF. St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker ordered late Friday that all early votes in her county be recounted beginning Saturday morning.

Following the recount of all early ballots cast in St. Lucie County, Murphy had 65,841 votes to West's 52,704 in that county. The website for Florida's secretary of state on Monday showed Murphy with 166,257 votes and West with 164,353, a margin of 0.58%. Those numbers, however, did not include St. Lucie's recounted results.

West said in a statement on Facebook that while his legal team believes there are "certainly still inaccuracies in the results," it does not believe "there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election."

Congratulating his opponent, West said he prays Murphy "will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own."

Though once sharp adversaries during the campaign, Murphy responded to West's announcement, saying he was "truly humbled."

"I appreciate Congressman West's gracious concession today. I am truly humbled that the voters of the 18th district have entrusted me to represent them in Washington. To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice," the congressman-elect said in a statement.

West, a first-term congressman and retired Army lieutenant colonel, and Murphy were locked in one of the country's most expensive U.S. House races, 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.

Rep. Pete Sessions, the National Republican Congressional Committee, commended West's "intense love of God and country" in a statement Tuesday morning.

"Allen's intense love of God and country has electrified our Republican team and we have benefited from his passionate leadership. Allen will be greatly missed as both a friend and colleague, and I wish him and his family all the best as they pursue a great legacy of public service for all Americans," Sessions said.

With West's concession, Democrats will have made a net gain of seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. As of now, the new balance of power comes to 234 Republicans and 200 Democrats. The GOP number includes a race in Louisiana that heads to a December 8 run-off election. However, the race is between two Republicans, guaranteeing a win for the GOP.

One other congressional race in North Carolina remains too close to call.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Robert Yoon, Simon Hernandez-Arthur, John Fricke, Dana Davidsen and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Allen West • Florida • House
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. PushingBack

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out West!

    November 20, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. plain&simple

    Next time people want to contribute money to someone like this Allen West fellow.....do yourselves a big favor....just burn it! Better yet just throw it out the window....better chance of helping someone who deserves it!

    November 20, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  3. Just a thought

    Does it give anyone other than me comfort, that the Tea-Fools are too old to pro-create?

    November 20, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  4. Susan Prock

    I am happy that West finally conceded to Murphy. Congradulations Patrick!! I am looking forward to having you as my congressman!

    November 20, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    I did see this nutjob on Fox this morning, playing the victim. The good thing is we may NEVER have to see or hear from him again. West, they used you just like ole skirt chasin' Herman and Michael Steele. It's over the black man won, you are now useless to them.

    Btw, don't hold your breath waiting on that Fox News position, regardless to how you want them to feel about you, deep down you know how they REALLY feel.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!

    November 20, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  6. Peace

    Another second huge win for Fox News. Folks, we need to congratulate them!

    November 20, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. steve

    Bye bye nut case!!

    November 20, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  8. lynn-harold thompson

    Thank heaven for democracy.

    November 20, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. Wow1234

    Loyalright

    "Another bought election. We Americans are not surprised. Nice work liberals."

    You did read the article, right??? Just in case you didn't – "West raised $17 million through mid-October and Murphy brought in $3.7 million, according for federal election commission records."

    How exactly did liberals buy this election? Oh, that's right – facts don't matter when you're a socially conservative idjit.

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

    November 20, 2012 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  10. sam

    like a bad smell, it's was a tough thing getting rid of this jerk!

    November 20, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The really sad thought is this guy gets to collect a Congressional Pension and enjoy the same Health Care benefits he did while in office. I think it is time to get rid of these pensions so guys like him who get voted out can no longer suckle at the public teat.

    November 20, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  12. james

    Clearly an example of racism!
    Does it count when its a Republican?

    November 20, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  13. PONCHOS RAINCOAT

    You and your hi-top fade are out of here Mr. West.

    November 20, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. MGB2012

    What a loser of a man and now ex-elected official. Good ridance to bad rubbish!

    November 20, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. XXXX

    Wasn't this guy (Allen West), Sarah Palin proposed his name to be picked as Vice President? No one should under-estimate the thinking of American people, they are really wise.

    November 20, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  16. alleygator

    The dog in the manger finally gets up to leave.

    November 20, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  17. Jay Dee

    I think all the voters think he is a commie!

    November 20, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  18. mike

    Yea " we got rid of another Tea Party Bully.

    November 20, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  19. Q

    Hopefully the U-Haul moving truck left for Washington D.C. this morning!

    November 20, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. Laverne

    You want to play to the crazies, you lose elections! His pride wouldn't let him concede he got his butt kicked! So glad I don't have to listen to anymore of his crazy talk!

    November 20, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  21. Dadster

    The poor conservatives crying to the bitter end. They can't believe that all of the money they spent didn't buy them a thing. At least their reaction will increase the number of jobs in America. I hear that there is a now great demand for drivers with experience in driving WAAAHbulances!

    November 20, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  22. galaxy101

    Mr. G can now move over... there's a *new* loser AL on the block.

    November 20, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. curran

    No call....no respect for this loser.

    November 20, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    West's remarks about not wanting to press supporters for money to mount a legal challenge didn't really sound concilliatory, not to me. It sounded more like he has to go through that awkward moment where he has to explain to his supporters why their $17 million didn't get West elected. Under those circumstances I can see why it would be difficult to "ask more of his supporters".

    Now is not a good time to be Allen West. Do you think that he'll notice reality, that he's been kicked to the curb, when Fox News doesn't offer him a job? And if they do offer him a job, do you think he'll finally recognize the hamster cage?

    November 20, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. krehator

    Another bitter Republican in denial.

    November 20, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
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