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. Gary

    Odd how all the Republicans wanted to do is make Obama a one term President. Instead they made a lot of their own one term politicians...

    November 20, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. 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 with GOP.
    You lost on message.... wise up or face extinction.

    A few typos corrected.

    November 20, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. davec.0121

    Glad to see West go. He was rigid, dogmatic, bitter, abusive, divisive, deceitful, egotistical, and ultimately ineffectual. He's obviously bound for a big career as a Fox News commentator.

    November 20, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. chilly g

    i would only be more happy if that lady in minnesota had lose but maybe next time, this guy west was the worst
    person in congress so we are so glad he lost

    November 20, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    West is gone and now there is still one more nut case that needs to go and that's John McCain, he needs to be put in a straight jacket and removed. Unfortunately McCain's time is up on the intel committee and he will be placed on the Indian affairs committee which he knows nothing about that either.

    November 20, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Vet

    Be sure to thank him for wasting all the Taxpayers money and time because he didn't want to give up. He lost 2 weeks ago.

    November 20, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. i'm confused

    Now that Mr. West's 15 minutes of tea party extremist shame is over he can return to his regular day job as a clown.....lol!

    November 20, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  8. king

    Looser got what he deserved!!...
    Repbublicans are full of tea partiers who are mostly filled with hate agendas and makes open hate statements. America does not have room for hate mongers and people with prejudice thoughts. We don't want anyone anti immigrant views, anti minority views and Anti religion views.
    America is for all and equal rights.. Hate preachers! Its about time you learn the lesson and learn to preach PEACE!

    November 20, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Don W.

    We have a place for crazy people like Allen West: Asylum Suites!

    November 20, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. v_mag

    West is conceited, and now he has conceded. He is ignorant and now he'll be ignored. Nice symmetry there.

    November 20, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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