Florida Republican Allen West was seeking a second term in Congress in Tuesday’s election and is now demanding a recount after results show he had trailed his opponent by less than 3,000 votes.
With West refusing to concede, the race has not yet been called after 100% of precincts reported 157,782 votes or 49.6 percent for him and 160,328 or 50.4% for his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy.
West, who warned before the election of “nefarious actions” by Democrats, suggested a county election supervisor was trying to rig the election.
“Late last night Congressman West maintained a district wide lead of nearly 2,000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections ‘recounted’ thousands of early ballots,” West’s campaign said in a statement. “Following that ‘recount’ Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes.”
West also said there were “numerous other disturbing irregularities” in St. Lucie County.
“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,” the campaign said. “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. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly we will pursue all legal means necessary.”
West is a member of the Tea Party Caucus and has been referred to as one of the champions of the Tea Party movement.
West’s rhetoric has won him both support and condemnation from differing groups along the American political spectrum. Members of the conservative movement view him as a “torch bearer” and “conservative icon”, with Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent both recommending him for Vice President, and Glenn Beck supporting him for President.
Several remarks by West have caused differing degrees of controversy. These include calling President Obama “an abject failure,” ordering both pro-Palestinian demonstrators and the views of “chicken men” Democrats to “get the hell out” of the United States, opining that drivers with Obama bumper stickers are “a threat to the gene pool”, and pronouncing that black Democrats are trying to keep his fellow African Americans “on the plantation”, while casting himself as the “modern-day Harriet Tubman” ferrying them to rescue.
Despite West refusing to concede, Murphy declared victory in the early morning hours after Election night. In his victory speech Murphy said, “Allen West was quite a character to run against, and I’ll keep it at that, and hopefully that’s the last time I ever need to mention his name, too.”