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. HJ

    GOOD RIDDANCE! To use West's favorite words, HE was the ONE who was VILE, VINDICTIVE and VITRIOLIC! Two years in Congress and all he did was spout incendiary remarks that were offensive to everyone except die hard T-baggers. The gall to say a lot of Democrats in COngress were communists and that Democrats should move out of the country!?!?!?! Two years in COngress and this disgraced ex-Army colonel did NOT introduced ONE BILL! He was part of the problem and not part of the solution for a Congress that didn"t get things done! It's really sad now that West will now become rich on the speaker circuit. Good riddance to you West! Now why don't YOU move out of the USA because YOU don't belong here.

    November 20, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Steven Colo

    He's two weeks behind in the elections, and about fifty years behind in all other ways.

    November 20, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Terry Campbell

    One less in the Party of Stupid, as Bobby Jindal likes to call it.

    November 20, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. GrogInOhio

    One less wack job at the helm of the nation.

    November 20, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. ritmocojo

    The Republicans were in denial about losing that they came across as a bunch of 'Baghdad Bobs' insisting that they were winning all while they were getting their cans shined.

    November 20, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Bill

    This guy is a clown and a reprobate. Goodbye loser.

    November 20, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Chandra

    Time to celebrate the demise of another teabagger.

    November 20, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What an embarrassment for West when he thought he was part of the "in crowd" now he has to face reality that he's not one of them, never was, never will be. He has disgraced himself.

    November 20, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Patti in Dallas

    Good riddance. One-term West is a very good thing. At last, another ridiculous Tea Party lunatic blowhard is gone.

    November 20, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  10. Joshua Ludd

    I guess the war criminal nutjob used his security clearance, which is higher than the president's to check on the actual results and found out that... oops.. he still lost.

    November 20, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  11. Steve

    We knew that, Adam. Took you a while.

    November 20, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. Realfreeenterpriser

    Sadly, West and his ilk, Romney, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson etcetera, will never get it ....when one promotes a system that constantly stacks the deck against "regular" people, sooner or later, they quit voting for you. Unfortunately, West never realized that, try as he might, he would never be allowed in their club. Even more unfortunate, is the fact that it's poor white folks in the economicly/educationally depressed red states, the one's whose kids will never be able to afford a decent education, who can't afford decent housing and who, if it weren't for Obamacare, would lose what little they have if they got sick, who keep propping up the party of special privledge for the wealthy freeloaders.

    November 20, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  13. Cam Spurgeon

    Glad its over. This man did not reflect well on Fl, so not to be hateful just glad he is gone.and wish he and his family well in some other direction.

    November 20, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. denouemen

    Thanks for wasting taxpayers money you pretend to care about for your whiney loser recount.

    November 20, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. David R

    Bachmann is next.

    November 20, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  16. Nurse143

    Not sure if all monies raised were spent, but West raised >4x more and still lost to an opponent he didn't respect. America is speaking loud and clear.

    November 20, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. joeyf

    All bullys are cowards. It took this bully two weeks to face a fact that was obvious on election night. Bye bye West. Go far away.

    November 20, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. Bill

    So happy this guy is gone. Thankfully his backward thinking mentality will no longer represent my community!

    November 20, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. John Craig

    hannity and co. will keep a seat warm for him at the hate table. a prime waste of oxygen and a huge pimple on the face of the repubgnican party. hate does not win elections in america, despite the continued efforts of tea-baggers

    November 20, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Lelio Risen

    The legacy of Allan West is the extreme demonization of his opposition and his desire to become a modern day Joseph McCarthy.

    At the very least, with Patrick Murphy gaining the seat, some sense of civility returns to the political arena.

    Have no fear though, Mr. West, hateful rhetoric can earn you a lot of money at any number of right-wing events. And a whole new television network awaits you. Or who knows, maybe Rush, or the Donald, could use a sidekick.


    November 20, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. sailorman

    Wake up and smell the coffee ! The Tea party's day has come and gone, we are in the 21st century now.

    November 20, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. Jed Clampett

    The tea party had to outspend by nearly 5 to 1 in order to even come close in this race. Too bad we couldn't get rid of Paul Ryan too. Now I'm just waiting for these right wingers to attach a "definition of rape" rider to the fiscal cliff bill.

    November 20, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. Al

    Thank goodness! Now he can concentrate things that are really important to him, like expanding his lapel pin collection.

    November 20, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Joi Gibson

    At least you has finally conceded. Now please just go away. Your callousness and disrespect to those who disagree with you shows you to be a very small person (your military service aside).

    November 20, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. JohnPeel

    It doesn't matter who you put out there to represent the GOP. Unless the message changes(not just words but substance), then they will continue to loose until oblivion becomes synonymous to GOP.
    You lost message.... wise up or face extinction.

    November 20, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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