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Democrats brace for Rep. West court fight

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House Democrats are using Republican Rep. Allen West’s refusal to concede defeat in his re-election fight to help raise money for Democratic candidate Patrick Murphy in case Mr. Murphy’s presumed slim victory in South Florida is challenged in the courts.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fundraising arm of House Democrats, on Tuesday circulated an email to past and potential donors asking for at least $3 to “help protect the vote.”

“This is getting ridiculous,” the email states. Mr. West has “called the vote-counting a ‘sham’ and is using his $2 million war chest to launch a costly legal battle. We can’t let West steal this election. Help us protect Patrick Murphy’s victory and defeat Allen West once and for all.”

Mr. Murphy holds a 1,907-vote edge over the first-term tea party icon, a margin of 0.58 percent — just above the half-percent needed to avoid a state-mandated automatic recount of all votes.

Mr. West has complained that a decision by St. Lucie County elections officials to only recount ballots from three days of early voting was insufficient and left open many questions. His campaign has said the congressman “will pursue every legal means necessary to ensure a fair election.”

The contest’s results aren’t official, as Florida state election officials will met Nov. 20 to certify the winners from last week’s elections. But Mr. Murphy was on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for orientation meetings for newly elected members.

The Murphy campaign has said it’s “now time to put the campaign behind us.”

“Throughout this campaign the one message I heard time after time was the need for bipartisanship, to reach across the aisle,” said Mr. Murphy during news conference at the Capitol. “That’s what we need to do. We have to put our country first.”

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