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West Concedes Race to Murphy

photo of Julie Sobel
November 20, 2012

Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., is conceding the race in Florida's 18th District to his Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy two weeks after the election, after a recount of ballots failed to show him making the necessary gains to close the gap.

"For two weeks since Election Day, we have been working to ensure every vote is counted accurately and fairly," said West in a statement released by his campaign Tuesday morning. "We have made progress towards that goal, thanks to the dedication of our supporters and their unrelenting efforts to protect the integrity of the democratic process. While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election."

West had previously successfully gotten votes in St. Lucie County recounted, but the recount -- over this past weekend -- actually showed Murphy increasing his lead, which has remained above the margin that would trigger and automatic recount.

"While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change," West said in his statement. "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 also appeared on "Fox and Friends" Tuesday morning, where he was asked whether he'd run again. West responded that he was focused on spending time with his family and that they would "make that decision as a family as far as where we're going to move ahead."

The race between the tea party superstar and his opponent was one of the most expensive in the nation, and one of the nastiest as well. West's concession leaves just one unresolved House race, in North Carolina's 7th District.

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