Citing “inaccuracies’ in the vote, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) conceded to, and congratulated, Democrat Patrick Murphy on Tuesday morning.
“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 this past weekend’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election,” he said in prepared text.
The race was one of the closest in the nation, and while Murphy won on election night by a slim margin, West refused to concede. After a partial recount in St. Lucie County, West lost yet more ground Murphy.
“I want to congratulate my opponent, Patrick Murphy, as the new Congressman from the 18th Congressional District,” West’s statement added. “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”
West concluded that he still wants to keep fighting for his country, although he did not go into details about his future plans. “Only God knows what is in store for each of us. I have dedicated my life to serving this nation, and the results of this election will not change my purpose.”
Known as one of the firebrands of the House, the tea party favorite and former soldier was elected amid the Republican wave that swept Congress’s lower body in 2010. After taking a seat on the House Armed Services Committee, he built a reputation for attacking President Barack Obama and Democrats, working to limit reproductive rights, and claiming that progressiveism is akin to communism. During his short tenure in Congress, OpenCongress.org says he directly sponsored just 11 bills, and none made it into law.
“This is not only a victory for Florida women, but for women across the country,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “Allen West’s defeat shows that voters overwhelmingly reject candidates who interfere with women’s access to health care.”
Updated with Planned Parenthood quote.