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Rep. Allen West concedes after Fla. recount fight

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West conceded his re-election fight Tuesday, two weeks after the election gave way to court appearances, two partial recounts and unending accusations by his camp that the vote count wasn’t fair.

In a statement, the Republican freshman said "there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results" but not enough to change the outcome, giving the race to Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy.

"While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change," West said.

Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich said he was not aware of any concession call to his candidate, simply an e-mail that was publicly distributed. In his own statement, Murphy said he was "humbled by Congressman West’s gracious concession" and eager to get to work on behalf of all voters.

"To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice," Murphy said. "I campaigned on a message of reaching across the aisle to get things done for the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches, and that is as important in this district as it is in Washington."

Murphy declared victory in the wee hours of Election Night and has held his lead ever since, even as thousands of absentee, provisional and overseas ballots were processed and two partial recounts undertaken. But West’s campaign kept up a stream of skepticism about the results, largely focused on St. Lucie County, where elections officials acknowledged missteps.

An initial recount of some early ballots in St. Lucie gave West a slight bump. His campaign fought for a fuller recount, and received it, but it only improved Murphy’s margin of victory. He won by more than 2,000 votes.

Many have speculated West could find a new career in the place where he has been frequently seen, on cable television, but he has not said what his next step will be. "Only God knows what is in store for each of us," he said in his statement, adding that "I will continue to fight for our republic."

Whatever the next step, the contest between Murphy and West will go down as one of the most expensive in congressional history. Murphy eked out the win though he was out-fundraised more than four-to-one.

West, 51, is a favorite among the most conservative reaches of the Republican Party. He has made a string of headline-grabbing statements, from calling a majority of congressional Democrats communists to saying President Barack Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and others should "get the hell out of the United States."

Murphy, 29, portrayed West as an extremist who had done little else in Washington than stoke partisan fires.

In his concession statement, West offered congratulations to Murphy, saying "I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own."

by FINALLY!reply 2111/22/2012

I’m very concerned about this very divisive rhetoric.

by FINALLY!reply 111/20/2012

"In his concession statement, West offered congratulations to Murphy, saying "I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own."

Well, that's more than West ever did. His whole shtick was about promoting himself with extreme statements. No surprise that people would expect him to go to cable.

Right Winger Neal Boortz once said that religion is all to often the refuge of scoundrels (one of his rare moments of true insight).

Well, forget religion - it's now cable "news."

by FINALLY!reply 211/20/2012

Hee hee. His possible winning of a recount was one of the few faint glimmers of hope the Freepers had in the election.

by FINALLY!reply 311/20/2012

[quote]"... and put the interests of our nation before his own."

That's pretty rich coming from somebody who waits until two weeks after an election to concede.

by FINALLY!reply 411/20/2012

Free Republic is very sad about this. Allen West is "a great man. The shadow operators are taking over this country."

Good gawd.

by FINALLY!reply 511/20/2012

Murphy said he was "humbled by Congressman West’s gracious concession"

And then added how much he looked forward to answering Congressman West's questions at his earliest convenience...

by FINALLY!reply 611/20/2012

"humbled by Congressman West’s gracious concession"

Think he said this with a straight face?

by FINALLY!reply 711/20/2012

Now I can get back to forcing my wife to enact my Playboy Playmate fantasies for me and punishing her if she doesn't!

by FINALLY!reply 811/20/2012

Darn. I was hoping for West being tarred and feathered and then carried out of the congress on a railroad track. You know, the proper way for a Tea Bagger to leave.

by FINALLY!reply 911/20/2012

I haven't seen the video of the concession, but I imagine West said "I concede" as he did that cough thing where the words are bit muffled.

by FINALLY!reply 1011/20/2012

It's all blah people's fault!!!

by FINALLY!reply 1111/20/2012

The sun in setting on the West.

by FINALLY!reply 1211/20/2012

How sad! Even in Florida, you can't sell crazy anymore.

by FINALLY!reply 1311/20/2012

West is a lunatic, just like Michelle Bachmann who unfortunately DIDN'T get voted out.

by FINALLY!reply 1411/20/2012

Allen West, Leather Queen:

by FINALLY!reply 1511/20/2012

Patrick Murphy is kind of cute, yes?

by FINALLY!reply 1711/20/2012

yeah, he is r17

by FINALLY!reply 1811/20/2012

The Pennsylvania Patrick Murphy is still my favorite.

by FINALLY!reply 1911/20/2012

I just saw a clip of him next to Mitt and Ann. Mitt is 6'2".

Al's a tiny little thing!

by FINALLY!reply 2011/22/2012

Why is Mitt so tall?

by FINALLY!reply 2111/22/2012
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