Ultra-Rightwing U.S. Fla. Rep. Allen West Wants Hand Recount After Losing Against Pro-Gay Dem.
Florida Republican Rep. Allen West managed to make a lot of enemies during his two years as a freshman in Congress, among them LGBT groups.
After narrowly losing on Tuesday in one of the most hard-fought and best-funded races in the country, he is demanding a hand recount. In the final tally, West lost against Democrat Patrick Murphy, a supporter of LGBT rights, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The final vote saw Murphy beating West by only 2,456 votes, or 50.4 percent of the vote, to West’s 49.6 percent. West alluded to some vote tampering in his statement about demanding a recount.
"Our race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome," a statement from the West campaign reads. "Ensuring a fair and accurate counting off 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. Late last night Congressman West maintained a district wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections ’recounted’ thousands of early ballots. Following that ’recount,’ Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes."
Murphy says he is running out of funds and has asked supporters for more contributions, South Florida Gay News points out.
"When other campaigns have been faced with similar situations, they have been burdened with legal bills and lengthy and expensive fights that could go on for weeks -- months even," Murphy wrote in an email blast. "We would not be asking for more funds if it was not so urgent. We threw everything we had at winning in the last few days."
According to OpenSecrets.org, West raised $15 million for his campaign and has $3.5 million left. Murphy raised just $3.3 million and as of September 30, he had only $471,000 left.
In May, Think Progress reported that West made controversial comments that he doesn’t think the LGBT community needs protection in the workplace because people are never fired because they are gay.
"That don’t happen out here in the United States of America," he told a reporter from the left-leaning website. He added that he knows this because he serves on the House’s Small Business Committee. He added that managers are instead more worried about "onerous tax policy, regulatory policy, and lack of access to capital because Dodd-Frank is absolutely decimating small community banks."
After President Barack Obama publicly endorsed marriage equality, West claimed that the president would lose the African American vote over the issue.
"I think it’s going to cause an incredible discussion in the black community, because, as you know, on Sundays in the black community the most conservative people in America are in those black churches," he told ABC News. "I think it may have been a huge miscalculation, especially when you have 41 states that recognize marriage between one man and one woman, and you just came off an incredible loss to them."
Murphy was once a Republican and even contributed to Mitt Romney’s campaign but got fed up with the Tea Party and switched parties in 2011. He supports pro-choice and LGBT rights but has been described as fiscally on the conservative side.