Florida Election Results: Rep. Allen West fighting for a recount after losing Florida District 18 race to Patrick Murphy

4:15 PM, Nov 9, 2012   |    comments
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WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (CBSMiami) - One of the two court hearings scheduled in Republican Congressman Allen West's lawsuit challenging Tuesday's vote has been delayed.

West's lawyers were set to appear in court Friday in St. Lucie County over what they described as irregularities in voting. However, the judge in the case wasn't prepared and delayed the St. Lucie hearing.

Also Friday, lawyers for West are in a Palm Beach County court preparing to ask for a recount in his election against Democrat Patrick Murphy.

Murphy currently leads West 50.39% to 49.61% in the race for the District 18 Congressional seat. Murphy received 160,328 votes to West's 157,872 votes.

However, unless the court orders a recount, Murphy's lead is currently outside the legally mandate level for a recount. An election must finish within a half-point to go to a state-mandate recount.

Palm Beach County poll workers were still checking ballots on Friday, trying to get a preliminary result to the state by 3 p.m.

West supporters were watching the count as it was being conducted.

"It's just to protect the integrity of the elective process," said West supporter Beverly Hines. "How can you have confidence if the ballots are being copied and recopied and recopied?"

West is fighting to keep his seat in Congress after becoming the darling of the Tea Party movement in 2010. His fiery speeches and outrageous claims have endeared him to some voters and made others loathe him.

Appearing publicly in Pompano Beach Thursday morning for a fallen heroes Veterans Day event, West explained why he is challenging the results.

"I think the most important thing is to make sure the people in District 18 got a fair election.  That's what this is all about," West told our partners at WFOR CBS4 News.

The Supervisor of Elections disputes that claim.

Gertrude Walker told CBS4 News on Wednesday that they had to rescan five tabulation cards because they had malfunctioned, but she said there was no calculation before the rescan so it was impossible to say who was in the lead.

Meanwhile, Patrick Murphy said he still believes he was the winner of Tuesday's election.  However, Murphy is appealing to his backers to contribute to his legal defense fund to fight West's challenge.

Thursday afternoon a vocal group of protesters gathered in front of the Palm Beach County courthouse and urged West to drop his challenge.

West said he will push forward with his challenge.


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