West concedes in tight congressional race after recount
November 20th, 2012
07:59 AM ET
10 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. Randy, San Francisco

    If the GOP/Tea Party is really serious about change, it would not run extremist wacko candidates like West, Akin, Palin, Bachmann, or Mourdock.

    November 20, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |

    Hip Hip Hooray. West was about to get Gov. Scott cought up in his recount charade. It was going to be 2000 all over again. No worries West. I'm sure you'll get a job at Fox where you can count up all the commies.

    November 20, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    one and done. Now go away and never darken our doors again.

    November 20, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  4. j williamson

    No doubt West believes it was some Commie conspiracy. Good riddance!

    November 20, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  5. AVarner Man

    Wonder how long it wil be before he becomes a paid personality on FOX Noise? He has a bright future with those idiots.

    November 20, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  6. onlyfacts

    One by one these extremists are dropping. 2014 will put an end to it. The Republican party better pull their heads out and acknowledge they don't live in reality, because the majority of us have had enough.

    November 20, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  7. Jason

    That what he gets, for the last 2 yrs he has been going on Fox News, trashing Pres Obama like no other. I mean some of the things this guy has said about obama on Fox News is beyond service of someone who is in Congress.

    Oh well, since he talked all that smack on Fox News, he can now go ask them for a JOB. He'll fit right in over there with the rest of them Nuts..

    November 20, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    He should pay the tab for this farce, but, as usual, I'm sure he'll skip out and force the people of FL to pay up. Typical rightie whiner, but I'm sure FOX will find a spot for him in their Ministry of Propaganda.

    November 20, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. DocHollywood

    The tea party and their candidates just refuse to aknowledge that the American people are getting tired of their obstructionism and their fringe elements. Goodbye West, and not a moment too soon.

    November 20, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |

    To be honest, we hardly knew ye, but the parts we did know sucked!
    I'm surprised you had the common decency to call Murphy.
    The Tea Party Token bites the dust

    November 20, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. Mike

    It's a shame that allen west allowed the republican party to use him as puppet to attract the black votes to republican party, who does not have any interest in allowing blacks to compete in the political and business arena of this county. Allen West deserve what happened to him. KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!

    November 20, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  12. Blaine

    Finally, some sanity in District 18.

    November 20, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  13. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    When an election is very, very close, I don't have a problem with recounts.
    When a candidate is just miffed because he didn't win and is calling for recounts because he wants to be a PITA, I'm against it.

    I do think there needs to be a numerical standard for recounts however. For instance, if the vote is within, say, 1000 for a local election and maybe 10,000 votes for a national election? There needs to be some kind of standard for recounts and not just play to the hurt feelings of a candidate who lost.

    November 20, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    Sometimes you got to flush it twice. Do it to Oklahoma governor too., she is not cooperating to Healthcare exchanges. Let us flush together.

    November 20, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  15. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    It just go to shoe that the teaparty that caused so much damage to the nation has been strongly rejected by the voters and anybody that supports them and grover norquest will be gone in the next elections!!!!

    November 20, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  16. us_1776

    Good riddence to this crazed tea bag.


    November 20, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  17. Loyalright

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

    November 20, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  18. Denhunter

    All that GOP money thrown away in support of a brain dead Tea Bagger...they could have fed the hungry in St. Lucie county for a decade with the cash they spent on their radical agenda....

    November 20, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  19. Sam

    West said he prays Murphy "will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own." And West did just opposite, that is why he was defeated. When will Republicans learn?

    November 20, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  20. gmenfan54

    Don't worry Mr. West. Their are plenty of toilets that need cleaning.

    November 20, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. fchase

    Another crazy is gone. Whew!! Thank goodness.

    November 20, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. Republican supporter of President Obama

    This country does not need people like him as elected officials. I am very happy he lost.

    November 20, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. Jon Dough

    The article doesn't emphasize (enough) the massive advantage that you Mr. West, had in financial resources. Massive. But you still got whooped...................

    November 20, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. Marc Florida

    The "R" party needs to do a lot of soul searching after this election. The majority of the public has had enough of right wing agendas divorced from reality.

    November 20, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  25. Yonni

    Very good day for America

    November 20, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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