Rep. Allen West is leading by more than 300 votes in Palm Beach County, Fla., a hopeful sign for the Tea Party favorite fighting for his political life after Tuesday’s election, a source told TheBlaze.
No winner has been declared in the congressional race between the Republican West and his Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy, though Murphy had a 2,456-vote lead in the unofficial vote total.
But a Republican observer who has been monitoring the counting process said West pulled ahead in Palm Beach County on Thursday as the initial count continues. Ballot printing errors led to ballots that could not be fed through scanners in some areas, so Florida election workers have been forced to reproduce their contents onto new ballots that can be read properly, the observer said. As the votes are counted for the first time, West has taken a slim lead.
It’s a separate issue from what’s happening in St. Lucie County, where West has demanded a recount over “disturbing irregularities.” He filed a motion Wednesday to have paper ballots counted and to impound voting machines and all paper ballots cast, WFOR-TV reported.
The observer called St. Lucie County more Republican in makeup while Palm Beach County is a mix but overall Democratic.
“The fact that he is ahead, period, even in this county is a good sign,” the observer said.
Freelance writer Charles C. Johnson contributed to this report.