West lost narrowly to Democratic up-and-comer Patrick Murphy last month, but refused to concede for weeks, demanding a recount of ballots in St. Lucie County. Only after a re-tabulation slightly increased Murphy’s lead did West finally accept defeat just before Thanksgiving.
Appearing on Mark Levin’s radio show last Thursday, West accused Murphy of only winning by breaking the rules. “I’m not going away just because of a congressional race where he seems to have to cheat to beat me,” said West. He did not specify precisely how Murphy supposedly cheated.
LEVIN: You are a national treasure. You are way too important to have something like this to happen and off you go. That can’t happen. So I’m really curious to know. Do you have further public service in mind, potentially?
WEST: The most important thing everyone has to understand is my voice is not going to be lost. We’ve gotten a lot of opportunities, a lot of offers, and we’re going to make sure we continue to have that platform. […] I’m a warrior and I’m a statesman and I’m a servant of this republic.I’m not going away just because of a congressional race where he seems to have to cheat to beat me.
LEVIN: He sure as hell did. It’s disgusting.
Source: SoundCloud / thinkprogress
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."
National news outlets called the race for Murphy on election night, but West refused to concede at the time.
h/t: Yahoo! News
Twitter’s wingnuts are screaming bloody murder at this writing after Florida’s St. Lucie County failed to finish their court-ordered recount by today’s noon deadline, prompting Patrick Murphy’s campaign to claim final victory over Rep. Allen West.
The Palm Beach Post reports that West’s supporters have charged into the St. Lucie election office screaming, “Count our votes!” West’s lawyers have raced to a judge’s office to demand an injunction against the state deadline. Numerous West supporters are claiming on Twitter that the county deliberately sabotaged a tabulation machine in order to miss the deadline. More on this later today as the story develops.
BREAKING: Allen West loses #FL18
Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy struck back on Tuesday at Rep. Allen West (R-FL), after West ran an ad about Murphy’s arrest in 2003 bar-fight. In response, Murphy went after a key event for West in 2003 — when his military career was ended.
In a race that has possibly featured the most intensely negative ads of the cycle, this one is a doozy.
“You need the facts about Allen West in 2003,” the announcer says, in response to how West’s ad touted his own military service in that year. “West was criminally charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice; found guilty of three counts of aggravated assault; and relieved of his command. The final Army report: West ‘performed illegal acts…merited court martial…faced 11 years in prison.’ Allen West: He just isn’t who he says he is.”
West fired a handgun next to the head of an Iraqi policeman during an interrogation, and after first having the officer beaten. West said this was done in order to stop an impending attack on his unit, but no evidence of such a plan was found based on the policeman’s coerced confession.
The incident did, however, help West gain notoriety with conservative activists, and to launch a political career that ultimately saw him elected to Congress in the 2010 Republican landslide.
h/t: Eric Kleefeld at TPM
Democrats and progressives are making a concerted effort to rid Congress of some of its biggest tea party stars, the Republicans whom Democrats dream about defeating when they go to bed at night.
Interviews with Democrats, progressives and Republicans this week suggest their efforts aren’t likely to break through across the board but there’s a real chance Democrats will erase a couple of faces off the tea party Mt. Rushmore come November.
Rep. Joe Walsh - Illinois 08
Walsh is the liberals’ embodiment of the tea party freshman: brash, unpredictable and perhaps a little unhinged at times. He started out with anuphill climb after redistricting put him in a more Democratic district, and he didn’t do himself any favors when he decided to attack the war record of his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs in Iraq.
Polling has shown Duckworth with a significant lead, and progressives who’ve rallied around removing Walsh from office are feeling pretty confident. Republicans seem less so — The Hill reported Wednesday that the NRCC has not reserved any airtime to protect Walsh.
Rep. Steve King - Iowa 05
If Walsh is the progressive caricature of the tea party freshman, King is the progressives’ dream conservative veteran. Prone to eyebrow-raising statements and patron saint of causes liberals love to hate — like making English the official language — King is proudly incendiary. When Mitt Romney endorsed him on the trail in Iowa, Democrats went wild, stating that just standing near King made Romney more extreme.
King is facing Democratic nominee Christie Vilsack, wife of Obama Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, former Iowa first lady and big name in the Hawkeye State. Vilsack has proven an able fundraiser and she’s had an assist from progressive groups on the ground.
Rep. Michele Bachmann — Minnesota 06
Before she ran for president, Bachmann was a number one dream defeat for Democrats and progressives. When she ascended to the presidential stage this year she only made progressive disdain for her worse. Where to begin, they say when asked about her: Bachmann’s impromptu backing of anti-vaccination conspiracies or her crusade to rid the government of terrorist spieshidden in the U.S. government?
Bachmann faces her toughest congressional opponent in recent memory in Democrat Jim Graves, a wealthy businessman who made his fortune in the hotel business. Like Duckworth and Vilsack, Graves has help from progressives and the national party. Internal polling and Graves’ bio continues to give Democrats hope, though even usually optimistic progressive observers admit this is an unphill climb for the left. Bachmann’s as popular among elements of the hard right as she is detested among elements of the left, and she’s been able to leverage her national name to build up a large warchest. That said, the idea that Bachmann’s in real trouble this November is catching on among the mainstream media and Bachmann’s fundraising emails are starting to sound more desperate.
Rep. Allen West — Florida 18
In many ways, West is the male Bachmann. His national profile among conservatives is beyond reproach, while his standing among the left is something considerably short of that. Happiest in the spotlight, West is a tea party freshman who’s fond of comparing President Obama to a slave owner. Tea partiers absolutely love him, and there’s been talk that he could make a run for Senate down the road.
Progressives hope to put an end to his political rise before it starts by defeating him at the end of this first term. It looks like a tall order. Democrat Patrick Murphy, a young newcomer to politics who raised enough money to draw support from the national party, can still pull in the big names to help out in the high-profile race. Bill Clinton was in the district for Murphy just the other week. And Democrats and their allied super PACs are spending big, though the DCCC recently canceled a week of ads.