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Allen West Finally Concedes Loss Of Congressional Seat

After putting up a quixotic two week long fight that seemed doomed from the start, Congressman Allen West has conceded his loss in the race for Florida’s 18th Congressional District:

Florida Rep. Allen West — the tea party pugilist and face of the class of House Republicans that stormed to power two years ago — conceded Tuesday to 29-year-old construction executive Patrick Murphy in one of the nation’s highest-profile congressional races.

After two weeks of battle with St. Lucie County elections officials — and a recount of early votes that wound up extending Murphy’s lead — West acknowledged that he couldn’t surmount his 1,904-vote, or 0.58 percent, deficit. That difference was just outside the 0.5 percent threshold to automatically trigger a recount of all votes.

So the brash conservative opted to bow out rather than wage a long and costly court battle he was unlikely to win.

“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 to POLITICO. “While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election.”

West congratulated Murphy, saying, “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

Don’t expect West to go away quietly. We’ll likely see him showing up on Fox News Channel in the near future, and he may end up trying to get back into Congress in two years time. For the next two years at least, though, Congress will be war criminal free.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. ozarkHillbilly says:

    West congratulated Murphy, saying, “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

    I wonder why? Not doing so was good enough for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  2. Boyd says:

    I must have missed it. When was it that West was convicted of war crimes?

    I thought not. I guess that whole “innocent until proved guilty in court” only applies to people you like or agree with, eh?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 17

  3. gVOR08 says:

    With Republicans, so often one has to ask – are they crazy enough to believe the stuff they’re saying, or are they just pandering to their crazy base. With West, at least, we know the answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. Fiona says:

    For once, West had to concede to reality, that b**ch.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. @Boyd:

    I think the link explains the reference

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. Markey says:

    I was hoping he would sandbag his office windows and refuse to be “taken out by the Communists” without a siege, oh well……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Boyd says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I think your linked post just perpetuates your smug assurance that your opinion is sufficient to call Allen West a war criminal, despite never being convicted for a war crime. Even the aggravated assault charge was a plain criminal charge, not a war crime, correct?

    But it appears the law is only important when you’re lawyering, not when you’re smearing people you don’t like. Hey, I don’t like West, either, but when your audience here at OTB generally pats you on the back when you say bad things about Republicans, there’s no limit that’s too far, I suppose.

    Buffoon, nut-case, flat-out crazy, definitely. War criminal? Actually, that’s…umm, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and just say you’re perpetuating an untruth. To the accolades of many in the comment section, no doubt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

  8. Craigo says:

    I must have missed the part where Doug said that West was a convicted war criminal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  9. Boyd says:

    @Craigo: Okay, Craigo, dance on the head of that pin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  10. Craigo says:

    @Boyd: By “pin,” do you mean the actual meaning of the word?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. Franklin says:

    @Boyd: I was surprised as well with Joyner’s original post on the matter. You brought up two things:

    1) I don’t know the legal differences between a ‘plain’ crime and a war crime. But it happened during the course of a war, and it’s against international conventions, so it would seem to qualify as a war crime. But I’m not going to argue either way because I don’t know.

    2) Regardless, I think the main question here is whether we can and/or should call somebody a criminal who is not convicted, despite the fact that they really did commit a crime (IIRC, West himself admitted to the action). It’s a reasonable question. The press would refer to him as a suspect, no?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. MM says:

    @Franklin: The press would use the word “alleged”, but they have begun to use that phrasing to a nearly comical extreme.

    West admits what he did, in fact he says that he would stage a mock execution again if in the same situation. If calling Allen West a “war criminal” alone is an issue, then perhaps it should either be “admitted war criminal” or “self-professed war criminal”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. labman57 says:

    Oh great. That’s just what the Congress needs … another Communist joining its ranks.

    Thank God we still have Michele Bachmann — a true patriot and loyal American — to root out all of those Christian-hating, Muslim-loving, socialism-embracing, unAmerican conspirators lurking in the shadows of the Capitol building.

    Geez, anyone can write this stuff. Who needs WND?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. legion says:

    @Boyd:

    Buffoon, nut-case, flat-out crazy, definitely. War criminal?

    Yes. The actions West himself admits to constitute violations of the Geneva Conventions and war crimes. That fact that plea bargains and being allowed to retire in disgrace kept a formal conviction off his record do not change that. If I were a lawyer, I might care more about noting the difference a conviction makes – oh wait, Doug _did_ make a lawyer’s distinction, as @Craigo noted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. mantis says:

    @Boyd:

    I must have missed it. When was it that West was convicted of war crimes?

    I thought not. I guess that whole “innocent until proved guilty in court” only applies to people you like or agree with, eh?

    So you aren’t a criminal for committing crimes, but only if you are convicted of committing them? Interesting viewpoint. Hundreds of criminals fine, upstanding citizens on Wall Street agree.

    Even the aggravated assault charge was a plain criminal charge, not a war crime, correct?

    The US military does not try people for war crimes per se. And mistreatment of POWs is, in fact, a war crime.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  16. C. Clavin says:

    Anyone know how much taxpayer money was wasted by this alleged fiscal conservative?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0