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)

    " GOP,Tea Party Bullies "
    Herman Cain , Michael Steele, Allen West, you are now useless to them, the election is over.
    It’s rally hard to fit on somebody else kitchen when an elephant is in it.
    Yes NEXT......, Marco Rubio. Wow his family leave Cuba running from Castro as he said in his book.......NO TRUE!.

    November 20, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. jb1963

    He wants Murphy to server with honor and integrity? Where did he learn those words from? He was such a dishonest broker is was sickening.

    November 20, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Bob

    Good riddance to a War Criminal

    November 20, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  4. fekt

    with little chance of success? no chance of success would have been more honest.

    November 20, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Natalie

    Fun to see these GOP nutcakes ousted. The American people have spoken....isn't that what they say when they win? 2010 was a fluke, not to mention a huge disservice to our country. Get to work Congress....unite for our country to get something done this time!

    November 20, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |

    West, is a self centered ego driven loser that sets the African American people back 100 years much like Romneys sickness... and well... You are what you sow.... a LOSER... Pray.

    November 20, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Nothing gives me more pleasure......

    November 20, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. KC Yankee

    I am thankful that Florida has one less lunatic "rising star" in the Republican incubator. How well I remember his oft-repeated vow never to compromise on anything with a Democrat.

    November 20, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Facts don't Lie

    Come on GOP show just how much you REALLY want to be diverse Cain/West 2016!!

    November 20, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. judith

    Another extremist bites the dust. No one is going to miss him–but maybe Rupert Murdoch will recruit him to join the other fanatics at Faux News.

    November 20, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Artifex

    The most scary part of this to me is that a person with such a whacked perspective was entrusted with such a high position in the military. The second most scary part is that so many people voted for him in spite of all his ignorant statements.
    Maybe that is the most scary part, come to think of it.

    November 20, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. ray

    another one bites the dust, hey hey hey another one bites the dust!!

    November 20, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Dabrotha33

    West, I'm glad you finally accepted what the rest of America accepted two weeks ago! YOU’VE BEEN TERMINATED! Your divisive rhetoric and refusal to work with not only the president, but your own party as well, has sent you packing!...Let your termination serve as a warning to other politicians; that the American people want political representatives who will put aside partisan politics and do what is best for the America people!

    November 20, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |

    This he-goat loser from the 16th century can now go out to the real world and find a REAL J.O.B. instead of feeding off of out communist tax dollars!!!

    No more free gifts, govt welfare checks and free healthcare for Allen West!!!!

    November 20, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Thomas

    How much of the 17 million campaign money did West put into his pocket ?

    West / Palin 2016

    November 20, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. The Film Professor

    one more bagger bites the dust.

    November 20, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. tffl

    "West said he prays Murphy "will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own." – in other words, West is praying that Murphy acts nothing like he did when he was in Congress...

    November 20, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  18. grrgr

    The Republicans called for a recount because they can't believe they've actually lost all credibility in this nation, lol.

    November 20, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. VLDunlap

    way to go Florida you have just thrown another TEA BAG in the the trash...

    November 20, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. DDDD

    Good riddance.....what a piece of garbage he was. Anyone who attempted to divide Americans as much as he did has no place in politics or policy making. A true piece of human garbage.

    November 20, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. sammieb51

    Thank God. Funny that with a 6% difference in votes he claims the recount he requested is part of the election process, when recounts are only triggered at 5%. Only in FL!! Now West is free to work as a "contractor" in the NEXT war the GOP wants to wage.

    November 20, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. n

    Let the rain fall down upon his face to hide those tears from and of a rude awakening. And then let him go hang with Romney while the to of them cuddle and sing "Last night me (West) and Romney cried together . . . I said, we cried, cried, cry-eyeeeeeeeee, together . . . .and then we made . . . too funny!

    November 20, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Kr55

    I understand West's disbelief. 3.7 million isnt supposed to beat 17. He should really take this as a great insult about his awful character. Now go home and learn how to be a human being West.

    November 20, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    Good news
    Americans disagree with this comment
    “I believe its about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party are members of the Communist Party.”

    November 20, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. jennifer in Houston

    He does not believe "there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election." Gotta love the Teaparty, they always have to bring up the idea that Democrats win by cheating.. Good riddance..

    November 20, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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