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.
“I appreciate Congressman West’s gracious concession today,” Murphy said in a statement. “To those who supported my opponent, my door is open and I want to hear your voice.”
The end of the race in Florida's 18th District means Republicans now hold a 234-200 advantage in the House, with one yet-to-be-determined contest between in a Republican and a Democrat in Rep. Mike McIntyre's (D-N.C.) district. McIntyre appears to have defeated state Sen. David Rouzer (R) there by a slim margin, though Rouzer has called for a recount.
West, who ran in the 18th District instead of the 22nd District to which he was first elected in 2010, is one of the most controversial and outspoken members of the freshman class, and also one of the House's most prolific fundraisers.
He said in his statement that he wishes to continue to fight for his country, but did not specify how. "Only God knows what is in store for each of us. I have dedicated my life to serving this nation, and the results of this election will not change my purpose. Just as I did in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, just as I did on Capitol Hill, I will continue to fight for our Republic," West said.
In a Tuesday morning interview on Fox News Channel, West said any decisions about a future run for office would be made in consultation with his family. “Well right now, you know, God knows the plans for my life and the most important thing is to enjoy Thanksgiving and my youngest daughter has her sixteenth birthday on Saturday so that’s where my concern is right now to be with the family and we’ll make that decision as a family as far as where we’re going to move ahead," said West.