Florida Rep. Allen West — the tea party pugilist and face of the class of House Republicans that stormed to power two years ago — conceded Tuesday to 29-year-old construction executive Patrick Murphy in one of the nation’s highest-profile congressional races.
After two weeks of battle with St. Lucie County elections officials — and a recount of early votes that wound up extending Murphy’s lead — West acknowledged that he couldn’t surmount his 1,904-vote, or 0.58 percent, deficit. That difference was just outside the 0.5 percent threshold to automatically trigger a recount of all votes.
So the brash conservative opted to bow out rather than wage a long and costly court battle he was unlikely to win.
“For two weeks since Election Day, we have been working to ensure every vote is counted accurately and fairly. 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,” West said in a statement to POLITICO.
“While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election.”
West congratulated Murphy, saying, “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”