Republican Rep. Allen West, the outspoken Army veteran who won Florida's 18th congressional contest during the 2008 Tea Party blitz, lost by a slight margin Tuesday in his hotly-contested battle against Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy. But while Murphy has declared himself the winner, after securing an initial vote count in front by 2,456 — out of more than 300,000 total votes — West has yet to concede the race.
Protesting his challenger’s alleged victory, West filed multiple motions Wednesday in St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County for injunctions in order to administer a recount of paper ballots and an investigation of electronic voting machines used in the hard-fought race. “This race is far from decided, and there is no rush to declare an outcome,” he affirmed in a statement. “Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance.”
Murphy won 50.4 percent of the vote, granting him a margin of about three-quarters of a percentage point, just above the breakpoint for a recount mandated under state law. But West alleges that a preliminary recount of early ballots in St. Lucie District had altered his 2,000-vote lead to a deficit of 2,400. Furthermore, there was other suspicious activity transpiring at the polls in the district, said West’s campaign manager Tim Edson in a statement:
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Photo: This Oct. 4, 2011 file photo shows Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington: AP Images