Facing defeat, Florida Rep. Allen West on Wednesday demanded a recount in his bid for re-election against Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.
With all precincts in the south Florida district reporting, Murphy has 160,328 votes, or 50.4 percent, to West’s 157,872 votes and 49.6 percent, according to the Associated Press, which has still not officially declared a winner.
In a statement Wednesday morning, the Republican congressman and Tea Party favorite’s campaign said the race was still far from over.
“This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome,” the campaign said. “Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance. There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district.”
The campaign went on to voice suspicions about the actions of one county election supervisor and called for a full hand recount.
“Late last night Congressman West maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2,000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections ‘recounted’ thousands of early ballots,” the campaign said. “Following that ‘recount’ Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes.”
The campaign said there were “numerous other disturbing irregularities” reported at polls across the county, including “doors to polling places being locked when the polls closed” — a violation of Florida law because it prevents the public from being able to witness how results are tabulated.
“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. “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 will pursue all legal means necessary.”