Tags: allen | west | concedes | murphy | recount | tea | party

Allen West Concedes to Democrat Patrick Murphy

Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012 07:10 AM

By Martin Gould

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Combative Florida Rep. Allen West has finally accepted that a recount cannot propel him to a come-from-behind victory and conceded his House race early Tuesday morning to Democrat challenger Patrick Murphy.

“While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election,” West said in a statement released on his Facebook page.

His announcement ends one of the most contentious battles in the election after the tea party favorite — who will leave the House as one of the best-known congressmen after just two years in office — accused a county election supervisor of helping Murphy to victory.

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“While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters, after much analysis and this past weekend’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, under-counted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election,” the statement said.

“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West’s statement added.

“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 went on to congratulate Murphy, a 29-year-old political newcomer, adding, “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

West was a target for the Democrats due to his fiery rhetoric and ability to ruffle the feathers of opponents. He accused 80 Democratic House members of being communists and called Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz “vile” and “not a lady.”

He also outspent Murphy by 4-1 in the bitterly contested fight for the district which covers parts of St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach Counties. He had decided not to run in the seat that covered most of his old district, thinking he had a better chance in Florida’s 18th District. His old seat was also won by a Democrat.

Murphy had led throughout the recount procedure, by less than 1 percent, but more than the 0.05 percent that triggers an automatic recount in the Sunshine State. West went to the courts to try to force a recount but was rebuffed, however election officials agreed to retabulate early votes, only increasing Murphy’s lead.

Most of West’s anger was launched at St. Lucie County Election Supervisor Gertrude Walker, saying she double-counted some votes and did not count others.

In his statement, the veteran of Desert Shield, Desert Storm and the Iraq War said, “Serving the people in the House of Representatives has been among the highest honors of my life, but this seat does not belong to me, or for that matter, to any individual. It belongs to the people.”

He thanked his wife and two daughters for their support saying, “They have all handled the challenges of these last few months, and the last many years, with amazing grace. I know they will be by my side for whatever is our next chapter.”

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And he made it clear he will not bow out of public life. “I have dedicated my life to serving this nation, and the results of this election will not change my purpose. Just as I did in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, just as I did on Capitol Hill, I will continue to fight for our Republic.

“Our nation will not overcome our challenges overnight, and the road ahead for each one of us will not be easy. But this nation would never have become that shining beacon of light if our founders had chosen the easy path 236 years ago. We all must proudly continue their legacy.

“For the protection and preservation of our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, I shall remain steadfast and loyal.”

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