Florida GOP Rep. Allen West says the overriding concern with respect to his contested 18th District race with Democrat Patrick Murphy is getting all the votes counted correctly rather than who comes out a winner.
West trails Murphy by less than 2,000 votes, and the St. Lucie County canvassing board Friday night ruled in favor of recounting all 37,379 early voting ballots there.
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“When you look back to election night, at 1 a.m. we were ahead by 2,000 votes, and all of a sudden within 35 minutes, there was a 4,400 vote shift that put Murphy ahead by 2,400 votes,” West told Newsmax TV’s Kathleen Walter.
Until Friday’s order, St. Lucie County votes had only been partially recounted. “We have always said, let’s go back and get this right, and let’s make sure there is a fair and accurate vote count of those early votes,” West said.
“There have been many other irregularities that we have seen up there in St. Lucie County, as far as logged votes of precincts not matching up to the ballots that have been cast.”
In the end, “I think that the people won,” West said. “This is not about me, and I don’t think this should be about Mr. Murphy. This is about making sure that we have integrity in our electoral process.”
West says he’s not worried about the election outcome. “I think that the people need to have their trust and confidence in the fact that all of the votes were counted.”
So why was the race so close?
“I was not just running against an opponent, I was running against a machine,” West says. “I was running against three or four different super PACs. I was running against the entire Democratic Party. I was running against the entire lot of the local media that never even tried to run a positive aspect.”
West says he ran a personal and pragmatic campaign pointing out the differences between himself and Murphy. “But it’s difficult when people come from out of town with some of these PAC organizations. Then they are putting things out there that you hate women, or you beat your wife, or things like that, that you have to try and contend against.”
West finds it ironic to be a target of the left wing. “You have listened to the liberal media talk about how there are no diverse faces in the Republican Party,” he said. “But as soon you get a diverse face, they attack you very strongly because they don’t want to have that diverse face.”
The liberal media can’t handle a strong conservative, West says. “When you have a person that brings forth a very principled conservative message, that can talk about the issues of the day — our economic security, energy security, our national security — that’s a threat to the other side, so they had to have my voice silenced.”
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