After a long-awaited recount of early voting ballots in St. Lucie County was completed Sunday, businessman Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, increased his lead over Republican Rep. Allen B. West and re-declared victory.
West has not conceded the race, which remains uncalled by The Associated Press. But his path to the 113th Congress now looks significantly narrower.
"We will review the results of today's recount and the other available data to determine how to proceed," he said in a statement.
"I have been humbled by the support we have received and the hard work of so many to ensure the integrity of this process. We look forward to the report which will be issued by the secretary of State's auditors this coming week which we hope will shed light on some of the outstanding issues," West added.
In still-unofficial results — the state of Florida is expected to certify final results soon — Murphy led West by more than 2,000 votes in their contest in the 18th District. St. Lucie County, the site of much of the post-Election Day wrangling, recounted all the early vote ballots over the weekend, which increased Murphy's margin. St. Lucie County is one of three in the newly configured district.
“Patrick Murphy expanded his lead to over 2,100 votes after Allen West’s latest recount, and now the congressman needs to come to grips with the reality that he lost," Murphy campaign manager Anthony Kusich said in a statement.
The 18th District race was one of the nastiest and hardest-fought congressional elections of the 2012 cycle.