Florida Rep. Allen West on Wednesday demanded a recount as his bid for reelection remained too close to call, with the tea party Republican trailing his Democratic opponent by fewer than 3,000 votes. Patrick Murphy has 160,328 votes, or 50.4 percent, to West’s 157,782 votes, or 49.6 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press, which has yet to call the race. West, who warned before the election of “nefarious actions” by Democrats, suggested a county election supervisor was trying to rig the election.
“Late last night Congressman West maintained a districtwide lead of nearly 2,000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections ‘recounted’ thousands of early ballots,” West’s campaign said in a statement. “Following that ‘recount’ Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes.”
West also said there were “numerous other disturbing irregularities” in St. Lucie County. “The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos,” the campaign said. “Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly we will pursue all legal means necessary.”
A call to St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections’ office was met with a full voicemail inbox.
Murphy declared victory shortly after 1 a.m., according to TCPalm.com. West had yet to concede. Murphy’s 0.8 point lead is outside the 0.5 margin that would require a recount in the Sunshine State. If Murphy’s lead remains bigger than 0.5 percentage points, a state elections spokesman told the Miami Herald that there is “no statutory mechanism for a candidate, group or anyone else to have a recount done.”