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Judge denies Rep. West’s call for partial recount in disputed race

A Florida judge on Friday denied Republican Rep. Allen West’s request for a recount of early votes in one key county, throwing a wrench into his effort to challenge the count that showed him losing to Democrat Patrick Murphy.

Attorneys for the Tea Party-backed congressman, who was elected in the 2010 Republican wave, argued that all 37,000 ballots cast during early voting in St. Lucie County should be recounted.

St. Lucie County officials originally recounted just three days of early voting — from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 — following the discovery that machines doubled counted some ballots.

West reportedly gained 132 votes and Murphy lost 667 in the recount Sunday of 16,275 votes. But unofficial returns still showed Murphy ahead of West by just over 1,900 votes in the 18th District.

West’s attorneys claim problems with counting of early votes in St. Lucie County are enough to warrant a full recount in that county. The partial recount Sunday showed 800 votes disappearing from the total.

But Murphy’s attorneys told the judge that there’s not enough evidence to support West’s motion — the judge sided with Murphy.

West’s suit sought a temporary injunction to get a full recount of all early voting in St. Lucie and asked the state to postpone certifying the district-wide tally until the process in complete.

Without court intervention, counties are supposed to file certified election results with the state by noon Sunday.

Murphy was already on Capitol Hill this week, taking part in the freshman class photo and declaring that West had lost.

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