Rep. Allen West finally conceded defeat to newcomer Democrat Patrick Murphy, after a tight race that ended in a recount and legal action.
West was a mere 1,904-votes or 0.58 percent, behind 29-year-old construction worker Murphy — just barely over the 0.5 percent threshold that would require a complete recount of votes, Politico reported.
“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 in a statement, the Associated Press reported.
West had claimed victory early on during Election night, and held on to his purported lead, petitioning the courts for a recount, CNN reported. His request was denied Friday, though a canvassing board ordered a retabulation of votes.
"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," West said.
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The statement was posted in full on West's Facebook page.
Murphy said he was “humbled by Congressman West’s gracious concession," according to the AP. Anthony Kusich, Murphy's campaign manager, said West had not called his opponent to concede.
“To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice,” Murphy said in a statement. “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.”
West's departure from Congress leaves the GOP with just one African-American member of Congress, Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Wall Street Journal reported.