Tea Party favorite West calls for a recount

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is not conceding to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy, despite early projections that he was unseated on Tuesday night, and his campaign has pledged to "pursue all legal means necessary" to make sure every ballot in Florida's 18th District is counted.

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West's race was one of a handful with the outcome still unclear late Tuesday night, and though The Associated Press gives Murphy 50.4 percent of the vote to West's 49.6 percent, with 100 percent of precincts responding, it has not yet called the race.

The two remain separated by a little more than 2,500 votes, but Murphy's .8 point lead is outside of the .5 margin that would force a recount in Florida.

Though Murphy declared victory late Tuesday night, West had not conceded, and his campaign indicated this morning he has no plans to do so.

"This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome. Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance," said West campaign manager Tim Edsall in a statement.

His statement noted the "tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district."

According to West's campaign, the congressman led the race until the county elections supervisor recounted a number of early ballots, which pushed Murphy to the lead. His campaign said that there were other vote-counting irregularities on Tuesday night that warranted a recount.

"The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor's office last night could only be described as complete chaos.   Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County," Edsall said in the statement.


West had been a top Democratic target from the outset of his race, and it became one of the most expensive in the nation, with both sides pouring millions in attacks into the 18th District.