PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.—Florida Republican Rep. Allen West conceded to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy on Tuesday, two weeks after the Nov. 6 election.
West challenged the results that showed him about 2,000 votes short of Murphy in Florida's 18th Congressional District but was unable to persuade local officials to grant him a full recount. He released a statement on Tuesday saying he plans to take "no further action to contest the outcome of this election."
"For two weeks since Election Day, we have been working to ensure every vote is counted accurately and fairly. We have made progress towards that goal, thanks to the dedication of our supporters and their unrelenting efforts to protect the integrity of the democratic process," West said in a statement. "While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election."
West was first elected in 2010 with a groundswell of support from local tea party activists, and during his short stint in Congress he quickly developed a reputation as one of the most outspoken conservative members in the chamber. Democrats responded by raising $3.6 million for his challenger, a 29-year-old newcomer to politics, and millions more through a super PAC. Using a national fundraising apparatus, West outraised Murphy raised a whopping $17 million to protect his seat.
National news outlets called the race for Murphy on election night, but West refused to concede at the time.
With West's concession, Murphy will be the youngest new member of Congress in 2013. During a visit to Capitol Hill last week, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi gave him the opportunity to speak for the incoming Democrats at their first joint press conference.
"I just defeated somebody you all may know," Murphy said said with a smile. "A guy named Allen West, you may have heard of him."