WEST PALM BEACH (AP) — Tea party firebrand Rep. Allen West conceded his election fight Tuesday, two weeks after the voting 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 said in a statement that 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.”
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.
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.
West has represented the 25th congressional district in Broward and Palm Beach counties in his first term but after the boundaries were changed following the recent Census, he moved north to the newly created 18th district that straddles Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties.
West and Tim Scott, of South Carolina, also a tea party favorite, are among the only two black Republicans in the U.S. House.