By: Leigh Ann Caldwell
The third time’s a charm. Patrick Murphy has declared victory twice already in his race against Rep. Allen West for Florida’s 18th district. But this time, a declaration of victory means a bit more.
After two weeks of challenging the election results in one of South Florida’s congressional district, Republican Rep. Allen West is throwing in the towel. Early Tuesday morning, the Tea Party favorite conceded that he does not have enough votes to beat Murphy.
“[W]e will not contest the certification or challenge the seating of Congressman-Elect Murphy,” West said in a statement.
Murphy remained ahead of West by 0.58 percent, which is more than the 0.5 percent margin required by Florida law to require a full recount.
West has called for partial recounts and challenged the accuracy of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, but after a judge denied his latest request for a recount of all early votes and legal challenges failed to prove an alternate outcome, West conceded. He continued, however, to raise questions about the process.
“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 (Sunday’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,” West said in a statement.
Despite West’s challenges, the 29-year-old Murphy was in Washington last week with the rest of the newly-elected members of the U.S. House for orientation.