Congressman Allen West (R. Fla), plants the American flag on the wreck of the Ancient Mariner off the coast of Pompano Beach, Fla. on June 12, 2011. Congressman West took part in a SCUBA dive, conducting an Underwater Ceremonial American Flag Tribute. The Congressman, an avid SCUBA diver was also on hand to celebrate "Learn to Dive" month with US veterans and members of the Diveheart Group. .UPI/Joe Marino
In the message, he doesn't sound totally convinced of the results, but rather, simply out of options.
"While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election," he wrote.
"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."
The freshman representative, known more for his inflammatory statements and his flat top haircut than his statesmanship, lost to Murphy by 1,904 votes, out of more than 320,000 cast. At just 0.58 percent difference, Murphy's margin of victory is outside the 0.5 percent minimum that would trigger a full recount.
West's team initially contested the results when it was discovered that voting machines may have initially double-counted some early votes. A recount of the final three days of early balloting, when the error was made, saw both candidates vote totals decrease. A second partial recount added 242 votes to Murphy's lead.
The race between the incumbent, beloved by the Tea Party, and his 29-year old challenger, a former Republican, was the most expensive House races in the 2012 election.
As West makes his final bow in his short House career, we look back at his most infamous moments:
Top 5 Allen West inflammatory quotes
5. “The Democrat Party has forever taken the black vote for granted. I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility.”
In an appearance on Fox in August 2011, West positioned himself as the one to lead African Americans away from the Democratic party.
4."You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up... You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!"
In an email to fellow Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, West was responding to her criticism of his support of "Cut, Cap and Balance Act" on the House floor.
3. "I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool."
West wrote a column for conservative blog RedCounty, expressing his views on people who support President Obama.
2. “I don’t think it’s very presidential when Barack Hussein Obama refers to my colleague, Paul Ryan, as a simple little accountant, either. So I think that when you look at what a community organizer is turning out to be, it does seem to be like a low-level socialist agitator.”
West spoke to conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham in April 2011, responding to an address given by the president on the deficit in which he delivered heavy criticism of Republican's budget plans.
West, speaking to supporters in Palm Beach, at a town hall event in April. He warned that he had "heard" some of his fellow congressmen were communists.
Rep. West's complete concession statement
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 this past weekend'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 the 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 by 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.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Roskos with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, "The Old Guard," participates in the annual Flags-In ceremony, May 23, 2013, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Soldiers place American flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones in the cemetery in honor of Memorial Day. UPI/Kevin Dietsch