Florida Republican Allen West conceded his hard-fought bid to retain his congressional seat on Tuesday, after two weeks of ballot recounts.
“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 to Politico.
“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 yesterday’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election.”
West demanded a “full hand recount” the morning after Election Day when several discrepancies were reported in the vote counting process. The Tea Party favorite maintained a district wide lead of nearly 2,000 votes late Election night, until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount,” West trailed by 2,400 votes.
“Boots on the ground” reports from West supporters declared him the winner on November 10, although the victory margin was within the 0.5 threshold to trigger a full recount.
The legal wranglings continued for two weeks. “Hundreds of votes were discovered, uncounted, on Friday after elections officials missed a statutory deadline for finishing their tally,” reports the Atlantic. “The election supervisor admitted her office called the race too early, forcing the state secretary of state to send auditors to St. Lucie County after the discovery of the ballots Friday.”
Finally, West acknowledged that he couldn’t surmount his 1,904-vote, or 0.58 percent, deficit on Tuesday.
West also thanked the many hard-working supporters who devoted themselves towards making the vote count as transparent as possible. He also congratulated Democrat Party challenger, Patrick Murphy.
“I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own,” West said about Murphy.
All is not lost for West. Speaking with the Atlanta-Constitution last week, Sue Everhart, chairwoman of the Georgia GOP, praised the Atlanta-born lawmaker and invited him to run for congress in her state.