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. jnpa

    Another one bites the dust....YES!!!!

    November 20, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  2. Floyd from Illinois

    Maybe the people of Floriduh's 18th just became aware of the fact that West was nothing but a losse cannon, making wild, unfounded accusations and never getting his work done.

    November 20, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Another bought election
    ...Thankfully just as unsuccessful as Romney's.
    Sayonara to another self-serving, Party-first, willing token of the GOP's disdain for our President , dirt bag.

    November 20, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. SV

    Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.

    November 20, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. Mona

    17 million spent by West vs. 3.7 million by Murphy. Yet more encouraging evidence that an election can't be bought.

    November 20, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. ted

    I don't understand how West could lose. He was so moderate...

    November 20, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  7. abby1

    Faux News probably offered him a job as a commentator. He decided that would be a better offer.

    November 20, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Take out the papers and the trash....yakety yak....don't come back!!

    November 20, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  9. MoLa1959CT

    Bye Bye Alan. I am sure they can find you a nice padded cell someplace.

    November 20, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  10. n8r0n

    Good riddance, Allen West, you awful shell of a human being.

    Looks like West couldn't buy an election after all.

    November 20, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  11. ETY

    Allen West was a hypocrite to the very end – saying that he hoped Mr. Murphy would "put the interests of our nation before his own"!!! Funny how the last ten days, Mr. West did exactly the opposite.

    The reincarnation of Joe McCarthy (the parallels are SCARY – paranoia, pretending to be a war hero) can now move on. Since all West cares about is hearing himself talk, Fox News is a natural next step. At least there, we have a mute button!

    November 20, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  12. mike

    Another blow to the empire!

    November 20, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  13. Anonymous

    Another tea bagger bites the dust....what a wonderful day!!

    November 20, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  14. knklhead

    "West raised $17 million through mid-October and Murphy brought in $3.7 million, according for federal election commission records." So West spent four times as much as Murphy? Ha, ha!

    Keep spending gazillions, rich guys .. happy to see you LOSE all your money. Bad investment? Maybe next time you will realize that spending your money to buy politicians is a LOSER proposition. The People will win again in 2010.

    November 20, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  15. ShawnDH


    November 20, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  16. mducharme

    one paragraph in, on half truth told. C>N>N average I guess. "partial" recount is the truth. "recount" is miss leading. oh, how many voting blocks voted 100% for Obama? how many voted greater than 100% for Obama. pot calling the kettle black. always the case. I respected but didn't agree with him before the 2nd and 3rd debates. Now I just think he's a typical politician. A two face, vote buying liar. Business as usual.

    November 20, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  17. BriSoFla

    Fascist – A person or political party with extreme rightwing views, often including racism, nationalism and complete obedience to authority. Examples: Hitler was a fascist. Allen West is fascist. Benito Mussolini was a fascist.

    Therefore, this idiot has some nerve calling people names. If the term fits, you wear it bud!

    November 20, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    I hope Mr. West learns something from this experience. I doubt it. He seems to like being a good little hamster, running his hamster wheel, inside of the right wing media's hamster cage. I believe I heard him say over the past couple of weeks that Democrats had a "good ground game." That opinion is straight from the hamster cage. The reality is that moderates and liberals can see the hamster cage and people like West simply cannot.

    November 20, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. John Stockton

    If only Bachman had a similar fate... oh well, baby steps. This nasty tea-o-con was so full of hate before the election; I can only imagine how angry this little man is, now. Nothing wrong with a little warm fuzzy shadenfreuda on a Tuesday morning.

    November 20, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  20. YES

    Gee he was such a moderate and always such a gentleman I don't understand how nice guys like this don't win the election. I kid.

    November 20, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  21. MY NAME? Yeah right

    Who gave this clown $17 mil?

    November 20, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  22. ST

    Adios Allen West. It was the second successful election in US history of recognising the Wackos and throw them away. The first one was that in Nevada 2010 when they threw out Sherry Angle. Voters in both States deserve a BIG credit.

    November 20, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  23. Just a thought

    Finally, I was so happy there is one less GOP – Tea-Fool in the congress. Only about 275 left to get rid of. But about 10-20 bounced every election will mean that by 2020 this band of fools will only be mentioned by default, At some point the old age, red neck racist, uneducated, faux news parroting ignoramous supports will die off for secede.

    November 20, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  24. Ben Goodman

    Best view of West is in the rear-view mirror. How did this creep ever become a lieutenant colonel in the Army?

    November 20, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  25. John

    And another Tea Party Idiot Is Gone.

    November 20, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
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