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Allen West concedes Congressional race to Patrick Murphy


Freshman Congressman and tea party favorite Allen West (R-Fla.) has conceded to political newcomer Patrick Murphy.

According to POLITICO, West has acknowledged that he could not surmount his 1,904 vote deficit to automatically trigger a recount of all votes throughout parts of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

At 0.58 percent, the difference was less than 250 votes.

Conceding defeat, West told POLITICO early Tuesday:

“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.  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, stating: “I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.”

In one of the most expensive Congressional races ever run, West had been expected to win the swing district.  He outraised Murphy nearly 4-to-1 and enjoyed almost universal name recognition against a candidate making his first attempt for public office.

Following an election night loss, West and his volunteer legal team focused on Gertrude Walker, the now embattled St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections.  When Walker admitted that “mistakes” had occurred in a rush to report election results, the outspoken Congressman went to court.

After judges in two counties declined to intervene in the election, the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board voted 2-to-1 and ordered a retabulation of votes cast in the county.

Following the recount, Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy gained votes.

“While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters,” West said in his concession statement, “after much analysis and yesterday’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election.”

Here is Congressman Allen West’s statement in full:

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

“While there are certainly still inaccuracies in the results and the actions of the St. Lucie County and Palm Beach County Supervisors of Elections rightly raise questions in my mind and for many voters, after much analysis and yesterday’s recount in St. Lucie County, our legal team does not believe there are enough over-counted, undercounted or fraudulent votes to change the outcome of the election.

“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change. Given the extremely high evidentiary hurdles involved in a successful challenge, I will not ask my generous supporters to help fund a drawn-out, expensive legal effort with little chance of success. Therefore, we will not contest the certification or challenge the seating of Congressman-Elect Murphy.

“Serving the people in the House of Representatives has been among the highest honors of my life, but this seat does not belong to me, or for that matter, to any individual. It belongs to the people. I want to congratulate my opponent, Patrick Murphy, as the new Congressman from 18th Congressional District. I pray he will serve his constituents with honor and integrity, and put the interests of our nation before his own.

“I must thank my wife Angela, and my daughters Aubrey and Austen for their support, patience, understanding and most of all, love. These are three of the toughest women I know. They have sent me off to defend our nation overseas at war and to Capitol Hill to serve our nation in the House of Representatives. They have all handled the challenges of these last few months, and the last many years, with amazing grace. I know they will be my side for whatever is our next chapter.

“I want to thank my congressional and campaign staff for their service, and most importantly, I want to thank all of our tremendous supporters who provided their time and money to power our campaign. I am humbled by the dedication and perseverance of our supporters, and their commitment to a free and prosperous America. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done for our campaign, but most importantly, what they have done, and will continue to do for our country. None of us should let the outcome discourage us. We should only redouble our resolve.

“Above all, I want to thank God for his blessings, and for blessing me with the opportunity to serve.

“Only God knows what is in store for each of us. I have dedicated my life to serving this nation, and the results of this election will not change my purpose. Just as I did in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, just as I did on Capitol Hill, I will continue to fight for our Republic.

“Our nation will not overcome our challenges overnight, and the road ahead for each one of us will not be easy. But this nation would never have become that shining beacon of light if our founders had chosen the easy path 236 years ago. We all must proudly continue their legacy.

“For the protection and preservation of our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, I shall remain steadfast and loyal. God bless you and God bless these United States of America.”

A request for comment from the Murphy campaign has not been answered.

With Congressman Allen West’s official concession, Patrick Murphy will be the new representative from Florida’s 18th congressional district.

Recount ordered in Allen West race against Patrick Murphy


 

The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board ordered late Friday the retabulation of all early votes in the highly contested congressional race between U.S. Representative Allen West (R-Fla.) and his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy.

The board voted 2-1 in favor of recounting the votes.

St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker indicated that the retabulation would begin at 9 o’clock Saturday morning.  A total of 33,379 ballots from all eight days of early voting are in question.

According to Florida law, the race must be within 0.5 percent or less for an official “recount.”  A “retabulation” occurs if the canvassing board decides there were mistakes made in the initial counting of ballots.

At issue are the Florida Republican’s bid to overcome a 1,907 vote – or 0.58 percent deficit – in his Treasure Coast race against Democrat Patrick Murphy.

The popular first-term Congressman needs just 249 votes from the retabulation to trigger a statutory recount under Florida law.  In an earlier recount, West gained 545 votes from 16,275 early voting ballots, making it theoretically possible to overcome earlier losses.

Both West and Murphy lost more than 800 votes from the 16,275 with approximately 80 percent of the decrease being attributed to the Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy.

“This retabulation of all early votes as the Supervisor of Elections originally planned is a victory for democracy,” stated Jeffery Scott Shapiro, a volunteer attorney on the Allen West campaign. “This restores some level of trust and public confidence in the system…it was the right thing to do.”

Prior to the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board entering its decision, state Division of Elections official David Drury made a “personal” recommendation that all early votes be recounted as several errors had occurred in the initial process.

It had been previously reported that 304 early votes were never counted.  There was also the question of a missing “communications log.”

St. Lucie County was the only county within the three county district that Patrick Murphy won.  Supervisor Walker previously admitted double-counting some votes and missing others on election night citing “too much haste” trying to get immediate election results.

Since the earlier partial recount, Walker has stated that she was confident that the “vote count is now accurate.”

West has refused to concede the race and has relentlessly pushed for a recount of early votes in St. Lucie County.  If a mandatory recount of all votes is forced, both Martin and Palm Beach counties would be recounted as well.

Earlier in the day, St. Lucie County Circuit Court Judge Dan Vaughn denied Congressman West’s request for a recount of early votes indicating that he did not have the authority to make such a ruling.

Allen West files amended lawsuit seeking recount in contested Florida race


In a press conference late Tuesday, St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker told reporters that her office had been working 12-14 hour days to correct errors in the race between freshman Congressman Allen West and newcomer Patrick Murphy.

“I’m going to continue until every vote is counted accurately,” stated Walker.

Walker’s message comes as Allen West and eight voters of St. Lucie County filed suit against her and the Canvassing Board seeking a recount of all early votes cast in the hotly contested race.

In St Lucie County Circuit Court case number #562012CA004319, West:

“asks the court to immediately issue a preliminary injunction ordering Defendant Gertrude Walker, as St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, and Defendant Dan Detzner, as Florida Secretary of State, to convene the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board for the purpose of counting all votes cast in the election for the 18th Congressional District during the early voting period, and ordering Defendants to refrain from certifying results of the election for the 18th Congressional District until all ballots cast during the early voting period have been counted.”

During the press conference, Walker indicated that she would welcome a recount.

“If the state orders a recount, me and the Canvassing Board would be very pleased to do that. That’s our job. We just don’t have the authority to order a recount ourselves.”

In attempting to defend the partial recount process earlier conducted, Walker indicated that the Canvassing Board only had the legal authority to re-tabulate votes from three days of early votes and not all eight days.

It was her contention that those three days were possibly incorrect as a result of tabulation machine memory card failures.  As a result, Walker herself could order the partial recount.

“What the law requires is that the canvassing board correct the error,” Walker said. “If they are able to isolate where the error is, that’s what they were supposed to re-tabulate.”

Walker’s press conference followed a response to the Congressman’s initial lawsuit seeking a manual recount of all the ballots and an impounding of the voting machines.

In the response, Walker asked the court to deny the request, indicating that West’s motion is “procedurally and factually defective,” and that “the plaintiff has failed to allege, let alone prove, the elements required for injunctive relief.”

Despite problems from what she calls “too much haste” trying to get immediate election results, Walker stated that she is confident that the vote count is now accurate.

“It happened, it’s corrected, and we have the correct results right now,” she said.

“Rather than accept defeat like a true soldier and move on, Allen West is now attempting to circumvent the voting process by bringing suit,” stated long-time political consultant Barry Harris of Politically Direct.  “While part of the Democratic process, I am confident that this strategy will send the one-term Congressman home from Washington.  Just like the voters did.”

The Peach State: We want Congressman Allen West


From the Sunshine State to the Peach State, Congressman Allen West is in high demand.

Even before U.S. Rep. Allen West has been officially counted out in the hotly contested race for Florida’s 18th Congressional District, Republican officials in Georgia have offered him an opportunity to return home.

West is a native of Atlanta.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the freshman Congressman would be welcome with open arms.

“I would be glad to have him come back to Georgia and at some point run here,” Georgia GOP Chair Sue Everhart told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I would certainly try to help him because he has done his job. The way he ran his race didn’t in any way interfere with the job he did. He ran as a Republican, a conservative Republican.”

Following redistricting, West moved north from Florida’s 22nd Congressional District to run for re-election.  The popular Congressman and Tea Party favorite has not conceded defeat against his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy, and is demanding a full recount.

A West campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Everhart concluded that Congressman West is “one of the finest congressmen this country’s ever had.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi keynote speaker at Broward Lincoln Day Gala


 

Broward GOP Chairman Richard DeNapoli is reminding local Republicans that tickets are almost sold out for Saturday’s Lincoln Day Gala.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is the featured keynote speaker at the annual Broward Republican Party event.  Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Congressman Allen West (FL-22) are among the special guests confirmed to be in attendance.

Party Secretary Michael De Gruccio is returning as the 2012 chairman.

Prior to the dinner, BREC Chairman Richard DeNapoli will host a VIP Reception that will include General Bondi, CFO Atwater, U.S. Rep. West, a number of local, state, and federal officials as well as candidates for public office.

“The reception offers an opportunity to chat one-on-one with our keynote speaker, Attorney General Pam Bondi and special guests CFO Jeff Atwater and Congressman Allen West,” said DeNapoli. “Guests will also have an opportunity to speak with candidates who have filed for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida House and Senate, as well as local Broward County offices.”

Expecting a record crowd at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, doors will open at 5pm for a VIP reception and at 6pm for a general reception. Dinner and the program will begin at 7pm.

“It’s an honor to return as chairman of the 2012 Broward County Lincoln Day Gala,” said Michael De Gruccio. “We have a great venue, an amazing keynote speaker and a program that will not only honor President Abraham Lincoln but our Republican elected officials.”

The 2012 Lincoln Day Gala of the Broward Republican Party will be held Saturday, May 5, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, 2301 Southeast 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.

Tickets for the VIP reception (with photo opportunity) are $300.00 while general admission tickets are available at $150.00 each. Numerous sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For information on Lincoln Day sponsorship opportunities, please contact Rico Petrocelli at (954) 941-7775 or visit: www.browardgop.org.

For direct ticket purchases please visit: http://www.donationpages.com/directory/EventTicket/1494.

To RSVP on Facebook, please visit:  https://www.facebook.com/browardrepublicanparty#!/events/338670182860050/

To “Like” the most popular Republican Executive Party in Florida, please visit their Facebook page at:  https://www.facebook.com/browardrepublicanparty

“Please consider joining us at the Lincoln Day Gala,” said former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli. “Between the featured speakers and candidates for public office, you won’t want to miss it.”

This Week on The Credit Report with Bill Lewis


Interesting guests and timely topics will be on AM 1470 WWNN the week of October 17th and The Credit Report with Bill Lewis.

Former prosecutor and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney Jim Lewis will appear and discuss his candidacy for Broward State Attorney as the only Republican for this countywide office in 2012.

Davie Mayoral candidate Mike Crowley will appear and discuss his candidacy for mayor and his plan to create jobs by attracting high-technology business to Davie.

Foreclosure defense attorney Carlos Reyes will appear and discuss the latest developments in the “robo-signing” controversy and investigations started by the Florida Attorney General’s Office.

Chairman Richard Denapoli of the Broward Republican Party will appear and discuss Congressman Allen West’s appearance at the monthly meeting and the continuing commitment of the Broward Republican Executive Committee to ensure success in the 2012 presidential election.

Talk show host Steve Kane will appear and discuss his upcoming appearance at Wings Plus in Coral Springs and other initiatives of The Steve Kane Show on AM 1470 WWNN.

Florida’s 34th Senator and current U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux will discuss his candidacy in the Republican race to replace Democratic Senator Bill Nelson.

Tom Lauder of RedBroward will appear and discuss his political blog where “Making Broward See Red” is not such a hard job.

Coral Springs Commissioner and mayoral candidate Vince Boccard will appear and discuss his decision to run for mayor of one of Money Magazine’s “100 Best Places to Live” across America – ranked first in the State of Florida and 44th on the overall list.

Talk show host and attorney Lisa Macci will appear and discuss her recent move to AM 1470 WWNN and “The Justice Hour with Lisa Macci.”

Criminal defense attorney John Contini will appear and discuss the importance of criminal history records sealing when seeking employment in tough economic times.

Republican Party of Broward County Executive Director Rico Petrocelli will appear and discuss initiatives to grow the local party and upcoming events.

The Credit Report with Bill Lewis is a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends, and cutting edge issues.  Bill can be heard weekday’s at 9 o’clock on AM 1470 WWNN in south Florida or by streaming audio at www.wwnnradio.com.  Phone lines are open at (888) 565-1470. 

Congressman Allen West Has Shut the Door on U.S. Senate Run


The Republican field of candidates has been narrowed to nine – as of last count – in the race to unseat Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) in 2012.  Congressman Allen West (FL-22) has shut the door and announced his intent to seek re-election to the Broward-Palm Beach seat he won in 2010.

Following a record breaking fundraising quarter and a push from fellow Republicans to seek higher office, West has decided to stay put in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The outspoken freshman and Tea Party favorite from Plantation stirred the interest of reporters and Republican supporters in an interview last week when he stated that the door was “cracked very slightly” for running. 

“I cracked it open enough so that people can slip a note under the door and I can read the note,” said West.  “And I can write back on the note ‘probably not.’”

On Monday, Congressman Allen West shut the door on a possible U.S. Senate run with the following statement:

(BOCA RATON, FL)  Congressman Allen West announced today that he is running for reelection for the House of Representatives and is closing the door on a race for the United States Senate.

Congressman West stated:

“Over the last several weeks, numerous leaders of the Florida Republican Party, including current and past elected officials, have spoken to me about the race for the United States Senate. Out of respect, I was willing to listen.

They realize, as do I, that we need to change the United States Senator for the State of Florida. Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Bill Nelson are not acting in the best interests of Floridians and the American people.

In November of 2010, the citizens of the 22nd Congressional District sent me to Capitol Hill to right our fiscal ship of state, to work to rebuild our economy and to create jobs.

For the last two weeks, I have traveled the Congressional District and spoken clearly to the citizens that while we have made progress these last seven months, there is still so much to accomplish for our country. I believe the place where I can best effect the needed change is from the People’s House – the House of Representatives.

I have been given one of the highest honors to serve in the House of Representatives and I will continue to serve the citizens in that capacity. I will not seek the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2012. With regard to my future, the only goal I have is to do my very best to represent the constituents of the Congressional District and to restore the exceptionalism of our nation.”

With Congressman West announcing his intent to seek re-election in CD-22, the Republican field of candidates to challenge Senator Bill Nelson has been narrowed to Bill Fisher Jr., Alexander George, Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, Mike McCalister, Ron McNeil, Craig Miller, Ron Rushing, and Marielena Stuart.

Congressman Allen West: Short, Sweet and to the Point!


Taking a page from the playbook of General Anthony McAuliffe – whose forces were surrounded in Bastogne by the Germans in World War II’s Battle of the Bulge – and his famously written one-word response to a surrender ultimatum, “Nuts!” is none other than Congressman Allen West (FL-22).

In response to a letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations requesting that the Congressman disassociate himself from activists the group considers anti-Islamic, the South Florida Muslim group received the shortest letter ever seen from a member of the United States House of Representatives.

How short?  A single word – “Nuts!” – All in capital letters.  Never at a loss of words and straight to the point was the freshman Congressman from Plantation, Florida.

“I was shocked at first. I didn’t expect this from a congressman,” stated Nezar Hamze, executive director of CAIR Florida.  “We stand up for the civil rights of the Muslim community.  That’s what we do,”

Hamze wrote to West earlier this month with concerns about the Congressman and his relationship with groups and people the South Florida Muslim group considers to be anti-Islamic.

“When I first saw that, I wasn’t sure if he was calling me nuts, or he was calling my concerns nuts,” said Hamze.

In prior correspondence with CAIR Florida, Congressman West indicated that he was neither anti-Islamic nor anti-Muslim.

In other news:  No decision yet on whether Congressman Allen West will run in the Republican primary for the United States Senate to unseat Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.).

“I cracked it open enough so that people can slip a note under the door and I can read the note and I can write back on the note ‘probably not’ and send it back out under the door,” West said Monday night at a Palm Beach County Tea Party gathering, reported The Sun-Sentinel.

August Town Hall Meetings by Congressman Allen West


Back on schedule for in-person town hall meetings, Congressman Allen West (FL-22) has planned two town hall meetings for the month of August. 

Broward County:  Tuesday, August 16th, from 7 until 9pm at the Shepherd of the Coast Lutheran Church, 1901 East Commercial Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308.

Palm Beach County:  Tuesday, August 30th, from 4 until 6pm at the Burns Road Recreational Center, 4404 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.

West had conducted two town halls a month in his Broward-Palm Beach district, but scheduled two telephone meetings last month as Congress remained in Washington to deal with the debt crisis.  The in-person meetings have now resumed.

For more information, Broward county residents should contact (954) 202-6211 while Palm Beach residents should contact (561) 655-1943.

Over 500 Republicans Attend Broward Grand Old Party BBQ


On a hot and sunny south Florida afternoon where the weather held out until shortly after the event ended, Chairman Richard DeNapoli lived up to a campaign promise and his Eight Point Platform for the Broward Republican Party in staging yet another successful fundraiser.

Over 500 Republicans attended the inaugural Grand Old Party BBQ at the famed Bergeron ranch in far western Broward County.  Famed vocalist Lou Galterio met them with the National Anthem.

The “Country Afternoon” featured a keynote speaker in Congressman Allen West (FL-22), as well as Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida House Representatives Matt Hudson and George Moraitis, Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, and Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca.

Returning to the Grand Old Party BBQ from his appearance as Emcee at the Republican Party of Broward County – 2011 Lincoln Day Dinner was Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.  Standing tall above the crowd, Elwell held his Weiner jokes until the very end.

Making an appearance at the GOP barbecue was special guest Sharon Day, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee.  She cheerfully thanked everyone for their support of the Grand Old Party.

In the race for the Republican nomination to unseat Bill Nelson (D-FL) in the United States Senate were Florida’s 34th United States Senator George Lemieux, State Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner and retired Army Colonel Mike McCallister.  Each spoke of the need to send Senator Nelson into retirement.

Former Davie Councilman and current mayoral candidate Mike Crowley was also in attendance.

Congressman West urged everyone in attendance to work hard so President Barack Obama could be sent “back to Chicago.”  The freshman Congressman gathered over 400 petition signatures to place his name on the ballot in 2012.

State CFO Jeff Atwater advised the crowd that Tallahassee does not need any more of their money thanks to the budget prowess of the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott.

As the lone Republican on a panel of nine, County Commissioner Chip LaMarca urged the crowd to send him some Republican help on the commission.  LaMarca introduced Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti who is running for re-election in 2012.

A number of elected officials and candidates spoke with RED BROWARD, a conservative voice for the community.  Congressman West spoke on several issues including Weinergate and colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is now calling for Weiner to pull out and resign his New York congressional seat.

“It was my honor to chair the Grand Old Party BBQ,” says Sally Musser. “We had an amazing venue in the Bergeron Ranch, great speakers and a program that honored our elected officials for their public service.”

Prior to the barbeque, a VIP event was held in Alligator Ron’s Saloon that included elected officials and candidates for public office. “It was great to see so many influential politicians captivate a crowd,” said Richard DeNapoli, Chairman of the Broward Republican Party.

The barbecue followed a successful Lincoln Day Dinner that raised over $90,000 for the Broward Republican Party.  “The inaugural Grand Old Party barbeque was an overwhelming success,” says former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli.  “We saw many new faces today and I look forward to welcoming them into our party.”

For more information on the barbecue and the Broward Republican Party, please visit:www.browardgop.org.

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