Having Run Out of Votes to Recount and Election Officials to Blame, Allen West Finally Concedes

Highly divisive Tea Party congressman Allen West (R-FL) will have at least one of those titles stripped from his name after finally conceding to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy in the race for the Sunshine State's 18th congressional district.

Though the election ended two weeks ago with Murphy as the winner, West spent the last 14 days trying to find enough votes to justify a district-wide recount.

But after browbeating St. Lucie County elections officials into a recount of 37,000 early ballots, Murphy's lead was actually extended to 1,904 votes (0.58%).

"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 a statement to the press, "after much analysis and [Sunday'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."

West could still contest the official results — which are expected to be certified this morning in Tallahassee — but has already stated that he has no plans to do so.

"While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change," he said.

And with that ends the short-yet-memorable reign of one of the country's most controversial lawmakers (and that's saying something). A brief refresher, courtesy of the The Palm Beach Post:

West said members of the left-leaning Congressional Progressive Caucus were communists, called Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz "vile" and "despicable" and "not a lady" and said Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels would be proud of Democratic talking points on the budget.

For the record, West said he believed "there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party" who are card-carrying members of the Communist Party.

Murphy, a newly minted Democrat who ran on a platform of return to normalcy, issued his own statement accepting West's concession and added that his "door is open" to voters "Who supported my opponent."

[photo via AP]