Allen West Refuses to Concede Congressional Race

In a complete though unofficial tally of votes reported Saturday, Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy kept a lead outside the parameters of an automatic recount

Republican Congressman Allen West is refusing to concede even though the state says he lost his re-election bid to Democrat Patrick Murphy by 2,442 votes.

The state reported its complete but unofficial tally on Saturday in the 18th District race. There are still a handful of overseas and military ballots outstanding, but under Florida law, recounts are based on Saturday's results.

Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy won enough votes to avoid an automatic recount. West's only option now is through the courts.

West's campaign said he would not concede until St. Lucie County allows him to examine poll records to satisfy his concerns about votes being miscounted.

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Murphy, a Democratic newcomer, had 50.4 percent of the vote. West, a freshman Republican, is a tea party favorite known for his strong criticism of President Barack Obama and other Democrats. He maintains that voting irregularities in St. Lucie County need to be investigated before he concedes.

The race was the most expensive House contest in the country and one of both parties' top targets. West still could contest the election if misconduct or fraud might have changed its result.

A judge on Friday denied a court order West sought to impound ballots and voting booths.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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