West: 'Leaders don't need a title to continue to lead'

"My concern is to be with the family; we'll make that decision ahead," West said in response to a question about whether he would again seek political office.

West had initially refused to concede the close election, which showed Murphy with a small but steady lead of less than 1 percent since Election Day. The margin was not close enough to trigger an automatic recount, and a legal challenge by West forcing St. Lucie County to re-tally early ballots actually boosted his rival's lead.

Asked if a full recount would have shown him pulling ahead, West said that the campaign was "pretty close," but admitted he was not likely to close the gap.

"We went back and tried to do an analysis of the recount data we did," West said. "And we didn't think we would get that .8 percent. We'll not challenge or contest it."

Election officials are expected to certify the results on Tuesday. In a statement released Tuesday morning, West said he had been honored to serve in Congress.

"Serving the people in the House of Representatives has been among the highest honors of my life, but this seat does not belong to me, or, for that matter, to any individual. It belongs to the people," said West. "I want to congratulate my opponent, Patrick Murphy, as the new congressman from the 18th congressional district. I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own."