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. MEte Krop

    IAllen West, i won't be too long that congresswoman Micheal Bachman,Congress man Paul Rayan and the rest of Tea party people in the congress will be joining you. Wait and se in 2014.

    November 20, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  2. galaxy101

    ... and yes, he's a little on the * sore * side.

    November 20, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. anna lee

    🔴 These freaks are still counting ballots lol lol lol lol lolha ha ha ha

    November 20, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. Truck

    The Republicans are already searching for the best candidate to run for president in 2016.
    It's going to be tough to find that person, especially since they have decided the only way they can win is to find an African American gay woman, who is single under the age of thirty, born in Mexico and a resident of Ohio, who aborted a pregnancy after having cheated on her boyfriend with a Muslim guy she met while protesting the keystone pipeline.

    November 20, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. SafeJourney

    West, dont let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. Good Riddance. another TP gone

    November 20, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. mdn

    Rence Priebus has been so effective this election cycle. The GOP was right to throw Michael Steele out two years ago.

    November 20, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. Rosslaw

    West served a purpose with his open ended idiocy by publicizing the Republican party now consisted of members whose lives and thinking mirrored that of a full blown pyschotic episode. The only thing the republicans have learned is to mask their malevance with more superfically palatable trojan horse candidates like Jindal and Rubio.

    November 20, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  8. Charles

    Slowly but surely.

    November 20, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. ghostriter

    Yeah, this loser was way overboard.

    Tea folks, the republicans ain't listening to you anymore, the people aren't voting for you......either get right or get gone.

    November 20, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  10. enuff

    Oh no! It's a communist conspiracy to get him removed from office! (or maybe he is just a doofus).

    November 20, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. geggyg

    Dont you realise that according to repubs if democrats spend 5 minutes campaigning during an election , then they are unfairly influencing the election and not letting the the repubs have a fair chance to present there point of view( no matter that they aired thousands of hours of ads ) During the election i couldnt believe the number of number of commenters on here that kept saying that Pres Obama shouldnt be campaining at all , he should have stayed in the WH runing the country, while Romney was allowed to campaign as much as he wanted . It was crazy

    November 20, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. carol

    This guy is certainly in need of some kind of intervention. Nah, it wouldn't do any good

    November 20, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. From Atlanta

    To: 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."

    You have to be in Congress for 3-years before those benefits kick in! So, not worry! This is one crazy we won't have to pay for. I just hope Florida is taking part in the Affordable Care Act 'cause he and his are going to be in need of heathcare!

    November 20, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. miamigrrrl

    Lolz @ loyalright. Democrats were outspent 6 to 1, but thanks for playing.

    November 20, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. JD

    The people of Florida's 18th district got it right in ridding themselves of this nutjob. Unfortunately here in Minnesota's 6th district we weren't smart enough to dump Michelle Bachmann. Close, but no cigar.

    November 20, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Ronald McDonald

    We are rejoiced that Mr.West has conceded this congressional race. We at the McDonald's Corporation now welcome him with open arms as one of our newest French Frie cooks.

    Congratulations Allen!

    November 20, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. Chiniquy

    Finally! Good riddance to this idiot.

    November 20, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. GoodRiddance

    The sad part is that this West guy looks so republican...

    November 20, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. Two and They're Through

    Another teabagger bites the dust...

    November 20, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. t.marino

    This man does however win the award for the candidate in need of the most mental health intervention, and that is saying a lot. Congratulations Mr. West for being the grand champion of the crazy!

    November 20, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. simp

    Did this idior honestly think the american people wasn't listening? He sprewed so much hate just what the tea party wanted him to do, and now look at this moron....you are OUT!!! look out rick scott, we are coming after you in 2014 so don't get comfortable, look at your approval numbers that should give you a clue.

    November 20, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. Facts don't Lie

    yes Mr West time for you to step aside and get ready for where folks like you normally end up.........with a job at FoxNews or host a right wing talk show.

    November 20, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Bolaji09

    Hit the road, JERK!

    November 20, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. GI Joe

    Good Riddance to a bad apple.

    November 20, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Orwell seen it before

    Another communist conspiracy, backed by space aliens to take down West.

    Worry not.

    A job at Fox or Koch Industries awaits you.

    Bye bye.

    November 20, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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