Firebrand GOP Rep. Allen West, whose made-for-TV rhetoric made him a prized voice of extreme conservatives, has been ousted by political newcomer Patrick Murphy, according to the state’s vote count Saturday, but the incumbent was not planning to concede, reports the Associated Press.
Though above the threshold for a full recount, St. Lucie County agreed late Saturday to recount early votes on Sunday. Barring a sizeable shift, the complete but unofficial numbers showed Murphy with 50.4 percent of the vote and held a 2,442-vote lead in the District 18 race. Still, West’s campaign said they would press forward.
“We’re simply not going to just walk away from the race until we see that the numbers add up,” West campaign manager Tim Edson said.
Murphy declared victory early Wednesday morning and has held his lead ever since, even as thousands of absentee and provisional ballots were processed. He issued a statement Saturday saying “it is now time to put the campaign behind us” and has repeatedly said his win is a signal that voters are tired of the extremism exemplified by West.
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, an attorney with West’s campaign, said the St. Lucie recount would determine the Republican’s direction going forward.
“It doesn’t satisfy every concern but it may become a moot point depending on what the results are,” he said.