One of the few surprises on election night was Rep. Allen West (R-FL) trailing his opponent, Patrick Murphy. Going by what polls were available, it looked like West would probably win re-election. But after two weeks of failed court challenges and a recount of early votes adding to his opponent’s vote total, West finally conceded defeat yesterday:
Florida Republican Rep. Allen West conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy Tuesday morning, wrapping up one of the highest-profile and most expensive House races in the country.
“While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results, and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters, after much analysis and this past weekend’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election,” West said in a statement.
After all the votes in the 18th District were initially tallied, Murphy held a slight lead over West, but his margin wasn’t slim enough to trigger an official recount. The Republican pressed on though, raising questions about ballots in St. Lucie County. A weekend recount of early ballots there actually added to Murphy’s lead, leaving West with little in the way of remaining options.
Dave Weigel notes that West has a path back to the House in 2014, assuming he doesn’t make the same mistakes he made this year, so this may all be temporary for him. But I’ll admit that I’m glad West is gone.
Often labled as a “Tea Party Congressman,” West wasn’t very good on fiscal issues. Sure, he is a firebrand. He frequently criticized President Obama and Democrats and that endeared him to conservatives. However, his comments were often just baseless fearmongering, such as his rants about the threat of Sharia law in the United States.
West earned a 64% on the Club for Growth’s congressional scorecard earlier this year and a 73% from FreedomWorks. That leaves a lot to be desired from someone who comes from a movement that is based on fiscal issues.