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.
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.
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.
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.”
Provocative entrepreneur Bob Davids will appear and speak his mind on America, leadership and what the future holds. Bob has launched six highly successful companies over the course of his career including Radica Games, the third most profitable toy maker in the world; launching Sea Smoke, his world-class vineyard located in Central California (featured in the Academy Award-winning movie “Sideways”); and his latest venture, “Villa Keliki”, a luxurious 8,000 square meter resort located on the breathtaking island of Bali.
Former presidential appointee and elections attorney Gineen Bresso will appear and discuss her candidacy to represent Florida’s 20th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Bresso is challenging Democratic National Committee Chair and incumbent Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
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. Lewis is challenging incumbent Michael Satz and Chris Mancini, a former federal prosecutor turned defense attorney. Mancini switched his voter registration from independent to Democrat so he could run against Satz in the party’s primary. Lewis will face the winner of the August primary.
Tom Lauder of RedBroward will appear and discuss his political blog where “Making Broward See Red” is not such a hard job.
Foreclosure defense attorney Carlos Reyes will appear and discuss the latest developments in the mortgage foreclosure crisis. After nearly a year of negotiations, federal and state officials and five major mortgage servicers (Ally Financial, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, and Wells Fargo) have announced a $25 billion settlement over alleged foreclosure and mortgage loan-servicing abuses.
Republican Party of Broward County Executive Director Rico Petrocelli will appear and discuss initiatives to grow the local party and upcoming events.
Jennifer Cabrera will appear and discuss her departure for Saudi Arabia on behalf of Planet Beach Contempo Spa. Cabrera did not take the traditional road to spa ownership. After years in corporate sales, Cabrera wanted to own her own business. A member of Planet Beach, she heard about the Ms. Planet Beach Gen X contest and a grand prize package that included a free license. Cabrera is now a proud franchisee in North Miami Beach.
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Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Following a week of musical chairs where Congressman Allen West announced his intent to move north into a proposed 18th Congressional District while former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner departed the Republican primary race to unseat Democratic incumbent Senator Bill Nelson and run for West’s vacant Congressional seat, yet another race faces a challenge.
Former presidential appointee and elections attorney, Gineen Bresso, is set to announce Monday her candidacy to represent Florida’s 20th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Bresso, 39, is challenging Democratic National Committee Chair and incumbent Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
“I am prepared to work to restore fiscal responsibility, remove barriers to economic growth, and take the voice of the people to Washington D.C,” stated Bresso. “Currently, the nation is facing significant troubles with a debt in excess of $15 Trillion and a staggering $1.1 Trillion deficit.”
Bresso was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S Senate on October 2, 2008 to serve on the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).
In 2009, Bresso served as Chair of the EAC. In contemplation of a Congressional run, she resigned recently after asking President Barack Obama to withdraw his nomination of her to serve a second term.
Prior to her appointment to the EAC, Bresso served as the Director of Legislative Operations and Counsel for the Committee on House Administration in the U.S Congress. Previously, she served as a policy advisor to former Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., and worked as an attorney-advisor for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where she reviewed and processed applications for federal trademark registration.
Bresso has also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Arrie W. Davis, in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
Bresso received her Juris Doctor from Western New England College School of Law in 1999 and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1995.
“Even with a late entry into an already crowded field, thanks to her vast governmental experience, Bresso immediately becomes a top contender,” stated Tom Lauder of RedBroward. “Debbie Wasserman-Schultz has never faced such an impressive group of GOP candidates. She’s in for the political fight of her life.”
Bresso faces Ozzie Defaria, Juan Eliel Garcia, Joe Goldner, Karen Harrington, and Joe Kaufman in an August Republican primary.
“It’s time to govern responsibly and lead the nation to a more prosperous future,” concluded Bresso.
Twitter, a social network and micro-blogging service utilizing instant messaging capabilities has proven itself once again.
Whether it be Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or the various social networks that make life so simple for so many, a fully exposed Anthony Weiner has finally come clean.
Taking a page from the Bill Clinton playbook on womanizing, a tearful Anthony Weiner exposed all and admitted sending a lewd “brief” photograph over Twitter to a young woman while repeatedly lying to cover himself.
The confession at a packed Manhattan news conference Monday was a remarkable turn of events for Weiner, a married man who conceded to a “hugely regrettable” lapse in judgment. “I haven’t told the truth and have done things I deeply regret,” he said. “I brought pain to people I care about.”
Not making a big deal over the lapse in judgment, the outspoken liberal congressman defiantly refused to resign even after Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called for an ethics investigation into whether Weiner broke House rules. Insisting that he would cooperate with a House ethics inquiry, Weiner reiterated that he had done nothing wrong or improper.
Reflecting an erosion of support for the 46-year-old New York congressman, House Democratic leaders tersely expressed disappointment and embarrassment. Doubts whether Weiner could hold onto his House seat or continue his bid for New York City mayor in 2013 is an expression of many.
“People who draw conclusions about me are free to do so,” Weiner said. “I’ve worked for the people of my district for 13 years and in politics for 20 years and I hope they see fit to see this in the light that it is.”
Attempting to rise above media reports of other inappropriate relationships, Weiner acknowledged that he had engaged in contact with six women over three years through Twitter and Facebook and occasionally over the phone.
Weiner stated that he never met or had a physical relationship with any of the women and was not even sure of their ages. He also insisted that he never had an extramarital affair.
Conservative activist Andrew Breitbart had posted photos of Weiner on his BigGovernment.com website indicating they were in a cache of intimate online photograph’s, email and chat exchanges between the congressman and several unidentified women.
Before the planned news conference, Breitbart took to Weiner’s podium and defended the accuracy of his posts stating that his reputation was being smeared by the congressman. Weiner subsequently apologized to Breitbart.
The celebrity website RadarOnline.com also reported that a woman claimed to have received 200 sexually explicit messages from Weiner through a Facebook account that he no longer uses.
The photo of a shirtless Weiner was reminiscent of former Rep. Chris Lee; the New York Republican who resigned from office earlier this year after a shirtless photo he sent a woman on Craigslist became public.
Before getting married last July to Huma Abedin, a Hillary Rodham Clinton aide, Weiner, at 46 years old, had been one of New York City’s most eligible bachelors. In a strange twist, former President Bill Clinton officiated over the Weiner nuptials.
Weiner began his career as a legislative assistant to then-Rep. Chuck Schumer, who is now New York’s senior senator. He was elected to the New York City Council before winning Schumer’s House seat in 1998, representing parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Ironically, Weiner’s seat is predominantly Republican
Weiner had initially gained a national profile during the debate over President Barack Obama’s health care plan when he outspokenly professed support for a government-run program which would cover all Americans and later a “public option” to compete with private health insurance.
Now all that remains is for Weiner to fade and droop away from Congress.
Following a successful Lincoln Day dinner that raised over $90,000, the Broward Republican Executive Committee has planned a “Grand Old Party BBQ” on Saturday June 11th, 2011 at the famed Bergeron Ranch in western Broward County.
The “Country Afternoon” will feature visits by Congressman Allen West (FL-22), Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Florida Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, Florida House Representatives Matt Hudson, George Moraitis, and Jeanette Nunez, 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 is Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.
Prior to the barbeque, BREC Chairman Richard DeNapoli will host a VIP event that will include elected officials and candidates for public office. “The reception offers an opportunity to chat one-on-one with our elected officials,” says DeNapoli. “You’ll also have an opportunity to talk with some of the candidates who have filed to run for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, the Florida House and Senate, as well as Broward County offices.”
The RSVP only event will be held at the scenic Bergeron Ranch, located at 21111 SW 16th Street, Weston, Florida 33322. The ranch will open for VIP admission at noon with general admission at 1pm.
The Broward Republican Executive Committee is expecting a record crowd for its inaugural Grand Old Party BBQ. “It is my honor to chair the Grand Old Party BBQ,” says Sally Musser. “We have an amazing venue in the Bergeron Ranch, great speakers and a program that will honor and thank our elected officials.”
Tickets for the VIP event (with photo opportunity) are $100.00 while general admission tickets are available at $35.00 each. Children 5-17 are $10.00 while those under 5 are free. Admission includes the picnic, food (hot dogs, hamburgers, etc.), games, fun, and prizes.
Numerous sponsorship opportunities are still available.
“I hope that you can join us on Saturday, June 11, 2011 because you won’t want to miss this event,” says former Plantation Councilman and BREC Executive Director Rico Petrocelli.
For more information, call Executive Director Rico Petrocelli at (954) 941-7775 or go to http://www.browardgop.org.
The Broward Republican Executive Committee (BREC) is the governing body of the Republican Party of Broward County. Because counties are divided into precincts for purposes of elections and voting, the BREC membership is made up of one man and woman from each precinct, otherwise known as Precinct Committeeman and Precinct Committeewoman.
The idea of a Precinct Committee member is that a person living within a precinct knows his/her neighbors, the issues that affect that community and is familiar with the area. In essence, the precinct committee member becomes the liaison between the county party and the voters in that precinct.
The goal of a committee member is to be able to effectively mobilize Republican voters in that precinct, get out the vote, disseminate the Republican message, implement the strategy there, make sure neighbors and friends are registered, and in turn, be your community’s voice in the Republican Executive Committee.