By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — Election officials missed a deadline on Sunday to report results of a two-day recount in Representative Allen B. West’s bid to remain in Congress, apparently sealing unofficial results giving the victory to his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy.
St. Lucie County did not meet a noon cutoff to finish processing 37,379 ballots that were cast early in the 18th Congressional District race, but it eventually released the results, which showed Mr. Murphy gaining votes in the recount. Regardless, under Florida law, previously submitted results favoring Mr. Murphy will be certified unless an emergency exemption is granted by the state.
“It puts an end to it as far as we’re concerned,” said Eric Johnson, an adviser to the Murphy campaign. “It puts an end to it as far as the state’s concerned.”
Mr. West’s campaign showed no immediate sign of conceding.
“At this time, in our view, the race is still undecided,” said the West campaign manager, Tim Edson.
Mr. West, a Republican, can still seek to formally contest the election, a difficult legal remedy. His aides gave no indication whether they would pursue such action. Dejected supporters of the congressman claimed that there was fraud, loudly chanting “Count our votes!” before election officials. Mr. Murphy’s supporters held signs reading “Respect the Results: Concede Now” and “Patrick Won!”
A recount of three days of early-voting ballots was conducted in St. Lucie County last week, narrowing Mr. Murphy’s margin a bit. The county’s canvassing board ultimately agreed to retabulate all eight days of ballots after discovering several errors and Mr. West’s supporters made a relentless push for a fuller recount. The campaign hoped Mr. Murphy’s margin of victory would decrease enough to force a machine recount of all ballots across the entire three-county district.
The race was the country’s most closely watched House races. The two sides raised nearly $21 million as of Oct. 17, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, and “super PACs” spent about $6.6 million more.
Mr. West, 51, is a first-term Tea Party favorite and one of two black Republicans in the House. He has made a string of headline-grabbing statements, from calling a majority of Congressional Democrats communists to saying President Obama, Representative Nancy Pelosi and others should “get the hell out of the United States.”
Mr. Murphy, 29, who has been proclaiming victory since the wee hours of election night, is a political newcomer who portrayed Mr. West as an extremist who has done little in Washington than stoke partisan fires.
...these are exactly MY SENTIMENTS...but I would have gone farther and called the President the BIGGEST LIAR we have EVER had in the WH, over BENGHAZIgate! You stupid libs w/ your foolishness and the arab spring debacle have shown an unwillingness to remian strong and united in the ME...now Israel is gonna have to CLEAN UP your mess...gee thanx libs...you really know how to pic winners and losers? Yell at Israel for defending TelAviv but say nothing when Yedda is SHOT DEAD in Tehran..or STEVENS murdered in BENGHAZI...hope yur happy #$%$!
[from calling a majority of Congressional Democrats communists to saying President Obama, Representative Nancy Pelosi and others should “get the hell out of the United States.”]
....too bad we retain so many POOR so called Black Leaders when WEST stood up for his country both in military and civilian life!
...he will be back...lost his district by what 1000 votes?
...those people will all be losing their grocery/waitress JOBS this year and NEXT and wonder what the heck they were thinking....