After missed deadline, Patrick Murphy campaign declares victory

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Patrick Murphy is the Congressman-elect of the 18th Congressional district, his campaign said on Sunday, after the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board missed the deadline to certify results to the state Division of Elections.

The unofficial certified results filed last Sunday stand under Florida law, the campaign said.

The Palm Beach Post  reported that attorneys for U.S. Rep. Allen West would request an emergency hearing on the missed deadline.

"Today at Noon, it became clear Patrick Murphy will be officially certified as the next Congressman from the 18th Congressional District," Murphy for Congress campaign manager Anthony Kusich said. "The voters have spoken and Patrick Murphy is once again the clear winner.  It is beyond time to put this campaign behind us and put the interests of the people of the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches first."

After a partial recount of ballots cast during the final three days of early voting in St. Lucie County, Murphy, a Democrat, led West by 1,907 votes or a margin of more than 0.5% — more than what would trigger an automatic recount.

West for Congress campaign manager Tim Edson said St. Lucie County botched the latest retabulation of early votes and the election was far from decided.

"Why is it so hard for Supervisor of Elections, Gertrude Walker, to fairly and accurately count the results of an election?," he asked. "Today's actions cast an even greater cloud of suspicion over the results of St. Lucie County than existed before. Consequently, the highly-suspect results will be submitted to the Secretary of  State today -- even though the canvassing board has already admitted they may contain serious errors."

On Friday, the Canvassing Board agreed to retabulate all eight days of early voting after it discovered more than 300 ballots had not been counted.

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