FORT PIERCE -- Results of recounting more than 37,000 St. Lucie County ballots were announced shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday and preliminary figures given by Canvassing Board member Tod Mowery placed Jupiter Democrat Patrick Murphy farther ahead of Republican Allen West than before the two-day effort began.Finally, it's over with. The St. Lucie County recount which began on Saturday morning and went beyond today's noon deadline has concluded, and 29 yr-old Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy has gained 242 votes over freshman Congressman Allen West, the disgruntled Tea Party Republican whose re-election bid was the most expensive for the Republican Party.
Murphy campaign senior advisor Eric Johnson was quick to reaffirm victory.
"As far as we're concerned, this puts an end to it," Johnson said. "The West people demanded a recount. They got that retabulation and Patrick Murphy gained a margin of 242 votes.
""This election is over," Johnson added.
Mowery said the final count was 65,841 votes for Murphy and 52,704 for West. The results still are unofficial.
Together with votes from Martin and northern Palm Beach counties, the two other counties in District 18, Murphy's lead was still outside the 0.5 percent difference that would mandate a recount under state law.
Whether West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, will attempt further legal challenges remains an open question.
"We are still evaluating how to handle this," West campaign manager Tim Edson said. "It's a unique case."
Allen West has yet to concede and his advisors are saying, "We are still evaluating how to handle this".
The West camp got what they wanted: a total recount of ALL 37,000+ early ballots. They have lost the recount and have lost the election by outside the margin of .5% to Patrick Murphy, and they need to be graceful now and hone up to it. That's how you handle this.