By ALEX ISENSTADT | 11/20/12 5:45 AM EST
Florida Rep. Allen West
— the tea party pugilist and face of the class of House Republicans that stormed to power two years ago — conceded Tuesday to 29-year-old construction executive Patrick Murphy
in one of the nation’s highest-profile congressional races.
After two weeks of battle with St. Lucie County elections officials — and a recount of early votes that wound up extending Murphy’s lead — West acknowledged that he couldn’t surmount his 1,904-vote, or 0.58 percent, deficit. That difference was just outside the 0.5 percent threshold to automatically trigger a recount of all votes.