FORT PIERCE - Election officials missed a deadline Sunday to report results of a two-day recount in GOP Rep. Allen West's race to remain in Congress, apparently sealing unofficial results giving the win to Democrat Patrick Murphy.
Though St. Lucie County did not meet a noon cutoff to finish processing 37,379 ballots cast early in the District 18 congressional election, it eventually released the results, which showed Murphy actually gaining votes in the recount.
Regardless, under Florida law, previously submitted results favoring Murphy will be certified unless an emergency exemption is granted by the state.
"It puts an end to it as far as we're concerned," said Eric Johnson, a Murphy adviser. "It puts an end to it as far as the state's concerned."
But West's campaign showed no immediate sign of backing down or offering a concession. "At this time, in our view, the race is still undecided," said West campaign manager Tim Edson.
West can still seek a formal contest of the election, a difficult legal remedy.
His aides gave no indication whether they would pursue such action.