Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2015

Posts in "Fla.-18"

March 4, 2013

Florida: St. Lucie County Commissioner Mowery Considering Bid Against Murphy

Republicans will target Murphy's seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

St. Lucie County Commissioner Tod Mowery, a Republican, is considering a run against freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla.

“I have been aggressively working through an evaluation of the district 18 race and I have a growing interest in that position,” Mowery told CQ Roll Call in a Monday evening telephone interview. “I think that it is something I definitely have on my radar at this point — evaluating.”

After one of the most brutal, personal and vituperative House races in 2012, Murphy, 29, unseated then-Rep. Allen B. West, a Republican, by a tiny margin. Murphy took 50.3 percent to West’s 49.7 percent.

The small margin of victory and the swing nature of the district has made it a top House Republican target in 2014. Full story

November 20, 2012

Florida: West Concedes to Murphy

West will not be returning to the 113th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Republican Rep. Allen B. West, one of the highest-profile and most-controversial members of the 2010 freshman class, conceded to Democrat Patrick Murphy after a nasty, brutish and long campaign.

“While many questions remain unanswered, today I am announcing that I will take no further action to contest the outcome of this election,” West said in a statement Tuesday. “While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change.”

He added: “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.”

Election Day results left West trailing Murphy by almost 2,000 votes but he pressed for retabulation of early votes in St. Lucie County, one of three in the newly configured 18th District. After a judge declined to order the retabulation — in effect, a recount — the county canvassing board decided to go ahead with the procedure. That was completed Sunday and ended up increasing Murphy’s margin of victory, giving West few avenues to continue to contest the election’s results. Full story

November 18, 2012

Recount Complete, Patrick Murphy’s Lead Over Allen West Increases

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.

November 17, 2012

Allen West Gets Requested Recount in Post-Election Day Fight

Florida Republican Rep. Allen B. West, trailing his Democratic opponent by about 1,900 votes, won a victory Friday evening when the St. Lucie County Canvassing Board agreed to retabulate all the early votes.

Earlier Friday a judge had declined to force the canvassing board to do just that. Retabulation is a legal term that means the board will, essentially, recount all the early votes, running them through the electronic vote reader again.

The board began the effort this morning at 9 a.m. and is expected to finish today. The county has to issue a final certification of its winners to the state tomorrow.

Earlier in this post-Election Day saga, the county recounted only some of the early votes after it said it would recount all of them. The St. Lucie County supervisor of elections is a Democrat and the West campaign alleged impropriety.

St. Lucie county is one of three in the newly configured 18th District, where West faced off with businessman Patrick Murphy, a democrat. It was one of the nastiest, most bitter, and hard fought congressional races in the country. As the vote count stands now, West trails just outside the 0.5 percent margin that would trigger an automatic recount across the whole district. But there’s the possibility that, if this retabulation narrows the vote margin, a recount could be triggered.

Murphy has declared victory and has been attending freshman orientation on Capitol Hill. The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Murphy’s team has asked a court to issue an injunction, stopping the retabulation. It’s unclear if that effort will succeed, given that it’s a Saturday.

“The election was conducted the first time properly and legally,” said Murphy advisor Eric Johnson. “Patrick Murphy won outside the percentage for an automatic recount. The canvassing baord does not have the legal authority to operate a recount. They’re operating outside the law.”

Johnson said no matter how this turns out, Murphy is and will be the winner.

West was pleased with the Board’s decision.

“We are pleased the Canvassing Board has done the right thing for the voters of St Lucie County by agreeing to a retabulation of early votes,” Allen West said in a statement. “All we have been fighting for since the very beginning is to ensure the citizens of this county have their votes accurately and fairly counted.”

November 16, 2012

Judge Rules Against West’s Recount Request

West, right, had his recount request denied by a St. Lucie County judge Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A St. Lucie County Judge ruled against Rep. Allen B. West, R-Fla., Friday, denying his request to force the county to recount all of the early ballots.

Earlier, the county recounted only some of the early votes after it said it would recount all of them. The St. Lucie County supervisor of elections is a Democrat and the West campaign alleges impropriety.

But the judge declined to force a recount of all early votes in St. Lucie County, one of three counties that are in the 18th District.

West trails Democrat Patrick Murphy by more than 1,900 votes, according to The Associated Press. Murphy has declared victory and attended freshman orientation on Capitol Hill this week.

Full story

November 14, 2012

Day 9: Latest Update on Outstanding House Races

Democratic candidates continue to hold on to their small leads in the five outstanding House races. Here are the latest numbers as of Wednesday afternoon:

  • Arizona’s 2nd
    Democratic Rep. Ron Barber has about a 650 vote lead over Republican Martha McSally, according to the Arizona Secretary of State Office’s latest numbers.

Florida: West Saga Continues

West has refused to concede his close race and is now asking for a recount of some ballots. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Allen B. West, R-Fla., who trails his Democratic opponent with 100 percent of precincts reporting, went to court Tuesday, asking a judge to order a recount of all early votes in St. Lucie County, one of three counties in the reconfigured 18th district.

West also asked the court to keep the county “from certifying results of the election for the 18th Congressional District until all ballots cast during the early voting period have been counted,” according to a campaign statement.

The crux of the issue: the county recounted only some of the early votes after it said it would recount all of them. The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections is a Democrat and the West campaign alleges impropriety.

Full story

November 12, 2012

Five House Races Still Outstanding

Five House races remain unresolved almost a week after Election Day.

The two main developments since Friday in uncalled races were in California and Arizona. Earlier today, Democratic former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won the race against Republican Vernon Parker in Arizona’s 9th district. On Friday night, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R) formally conceded to Democrat Raul Ruiz. Here are the races still up in the air: Full story

November 8, 2012

Handful of House Races Still Uncalled

The 113th Congress isn’t set yet. The winners in six House races remain unclear.

Here’s an update on those races:

  • In Arizona’s 2nd district, retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally (R) led Rep. Ron Barber (D), but there are early ballots and provisional ballots left to be counted. Both parties felt confident that the outcome of this race would be in their favor, but it might take a while to find out who is right. “It’s just gonna drag on there for a week or two,” one Arizona Democratic political insider said.
  • In Arizona’s new 9th district, former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) led ex-Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker (R) by about 2,700 votes, but many, many ballots remained to be counted, and the race has not yet been called by the Associated Press.
  • In California’s 7th district, physician Ami Bera (D) led Rep. Dan Lungren (R) by the slimmest of margins — 184 votes, according to the AP. A margin like that could make this race ripe for a recount, which must be requested by one of the candidates. Full story

November 7, 2012

Allen West May Fall Short

Rep. Allen West may lose his re-election bid in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) may narrowly lose his re-election bid, burned by his own hot rhetoric — which his opponent turned against him — and burdened by GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s weaker-than-expected showing in Florida.

In one of the costliest, nastiest and hardest-fought Congressional campaigns in the country, businessman Patrick Murphy led the freshman 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, according to the Associated Press. The race has not yet been officially called for Murphy, and 2,456 votes separate the two candidates with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Full story

November 6, 2012

No Surprises in Florida House Races

Every House race but one has been called in the Sunshine State, and there have been no surprises.

But firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) remained locked in a razor-tight contest with businessman Patrick Murphy (D) in Florida’s 18th district. With 96.4 percent of precincts reporting, West led with 50.2 percent to Murphy’s 49.8 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Here are other competitive race results, as reported by the AP:

  • Freshman Rep. Steve Southerland (R) beat former state Sen. Al Lawson in the Panhandle 2nd district by a comfortable 5-point margin.
  • Freshman Rep. Daniel Webster (R) held off a challenge from former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, beating her by 3.6 points.
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) easily beat former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald (D) by more than 7 points.
  • Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (D) beat former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R) in the open 22nd district, reconfigured to be significantly more Democratic.
  • Embattled Rep. David Rivera (R) lost to Democrat Joe Garcia in the Miami-area 26th district.

October 18, 2012

Daily Ad Track

Here’s what cut through the ad clutter today:

California 30

The Berman-Sherman race has officially gone, like, mega-ballistic.

Two new ads from the costliest Member-vs.-Member race in the country were released on Wednesday, as Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman once again laid into each other. Berman’s campaign used clips from their debate last week, when Sherman wrapped his arm around Berman and the two had to be separated, as they were on the verge of engaging in a physical altercation.

Full story

October 2, 2012

Florida: DCCC Cancels Buy Against Allen West

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has cut its advertising in Florida’s 18th district, the home of a fiercely competitive race between Rep. Allen West (R) and Democrat Patrick Murphy.

The independent expenditure arm of the DCCC had originally reserved about $96,000 in the West Palm Beach media market from Oct. 16-22. That reservation has now been canceled, a Democratic source familiar with the buys told Roll Call today.

The move comes after House Majority PAC, the Democratic-aligned third-party group, boosted its presence in the district from about $1 million to about $1.5 million.

Full story

Daily Ad Track

In our unscientific ad-track survey from today, we caught almost no new advertisements that could be classified as positive. Lots of cookie-cutter negative ads are surfacing, slamming the other campaign over Medicare, Congressional pay raises and information that appears culled from opposition research. Grainy footage and clipped out-of-context sound bites are also increasingly common.

Full story

September 28, 2012

Daily Ad Track

All over the country, biographical television spots are giving way to negative attack ads.

The Susan B. Anthony List announced Thursday the initiation of a $150,000 TV ad campaign against President Barack Obama in Ohio. It intends to include in that campaign an ad it previously aired in Missouri, which featured an abortion survivor.

But the ad that caught our attention was a negative spot from Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

Here are some of our other favorite ads from today:

Florida 18

The West spot sparked a frenzy on Twitter this morning. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil tweeted, “FL Rep. Allen West attacks his opponent for fighting in a bar. Has he met #FLSencandidate Connie Mack??” Bar brawls have surfaced in a Florida Senate race ad as well.

Meanwhile, supporters of House Democrats are going negative on West. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, announced it was increasing its investment in the district to more than $1.5 million. This comes after the news that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was canceling a week of airtime starting Oct. 9.

Full story

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