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State certifies election with unofficial results from West-Murphy race

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Two weeks after the Nov. 6 election, Florida’s 2012 results are now official.

Gov. Rick Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Attorney General Pam Bondi this morning certified with special attention to St. Lucie County’s prolonged recount the nationally-watched U.S. House District 18 contest between tea party icon U.S. Rep. Allen West and newly-elected U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy.

After lawsuits and recounts, West conceded this morning.

Scott and the two Cabinet members, acting as the state Election Canvassing Commission, were about to certify the results of the presidential, statewide and multi-county races as well as a few special elections, Secretary of State Ken Detzner told them.

“However, I bring to your attention that the St. Lucie County official returns were not received by the statutory deadline of noon, Nov. 18,” Detzner said. Florida law mandates that if a county’s returns are not received by the Department of State by the deadline, “the date filed returns shall be ignored and the results on file at that shall be certified by the department,” Detzner said.

“Therefore, the results before you reflect the unofficial returns filed from St. Lucie County at noon, Nov. 18,” he went on.

But a final recount, which ended in St. Lucie County on Sunday, did not change the results or give West enough of an edge to trigger an automatic recount, Detzner noted.

Murphy has led by less than 1 percent since election night. Final results Sunday from Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties gave the Democrat a lead over West of 1,904 votes or 0.58 percent.

“If St. Lucie County had timely submitted its retabulated returns, those returns would not have affected the ultimate outcome of any race and would not have placed any race within the margin of a recount,” he said.

Gov. Rick Scott, whose tea party support helped boost him to victory two years ago, said he was confident that Murphy is the winner.

“That’s what all the numbers show,” Scott said. Having to certify the unofficial results is disappointing, Scott said, “but it didn’t impact the election.”

Palm Beach County congressional candidates’ war chests swell

Monday, July 9th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Democrat Patrick Murphy raised more than $500,000 this quarter for his campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Allen West in the new Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast District 18 race, one of the most-watched contests in the country.

Murphy, who’s collected more than $2.3 million so far, this quarter raked in the second-highest amount nationwide of Democratic congressional wannabes, according to his campaign.

Murphy along with former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel, who brought in more than $400,000 this quarter in her U.S. House District 22 race, are among the country’s top Democratic challengers.

Frankel’s in a Democratic primary run-off against Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs next month, and the winner will face off against former state representative Adam Hasner in November.

Hasner, a Boca Raton Republican, had a huge quarter as well. Hasner topped $558,000 this quarter, leaving him with more than $1 million in cash. And the Palm Beach County opponents are nearly matched with the $2.2 million each has raised so far, but Hasner doesn’t have a primary to contend with.

The official campaign finance documents for the quarter are due July 15.

Dems unleash robo-call attack on West

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 by Dara Kam

National Democrats launched an attack on U.S. Rep. Allen West today, blaming him for the failure of the Congressional “super committee” to reach a consensus and accusing the Plantation politician of “demanding more tax breaks for billionaires.”

Click here to listen to the robo-call.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unleashed the robo-calls today, and the campaign also includes live telephone calls, online ads and a website for voters to fill out letters to the editor today, according to a release issued by the DCCC. The calls are supposed to start going out to voters in West’s district that includes Palm Beach County today.

Democrats have targeted West in his reelection bid. The tea party favorite is being challenged by Democrat Patrick Murphy.

Here’s the script of the robo-call:

Hi, this is Rick calling on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee calling about Congressman Allen West and Republicans forcing the Super Committee to fail.

Americans demanded a bipartisan, big, bold, and balanced plan to reduce the deficit and grow our economy – but that’s not what we got. The Super Committee failed because Republicans insisted on extending the Bush tax breaks for millionaires and refusing to include a jobs proposal – while ending the Medicare guarantee! That’s something that Democrats stand strongly against.

By rejecting a balanced approach, Republicans chose to protect the wealthiest one percent at the expense of seniors and the middle class. Now they’re even talking about raising the payroll tax.

Please call Congressman West at 561-655-1943 and tell him it’s time to focus on us.

Frankel’s quarterly cash keeps pace with Democratic rival

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 by John Kennedy

Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel said Wednesday that she collected $440,000 for her congressional campaign over the past three months, keeping pace with Democratic rival Patrick Murphy, who earlier reported pulling in $450,000.

First-term Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West of Plantation, who Frankel and Murphy are targeting, eclipsed his rivals by collected $1.5 million during the year’s second quarter.

“We are working hard to make sure we have the resources necessary to communicated our message to voters in South Florida and send Congressman Allen West packing,” Frankel said.

West’s campaign said his latest round of fund-raising reflects cash came from 23,500 contributors — what it took as a sign of widespread support. Frankel, too, pointed to the scope of her donations, saying 90 percent came from Florida, with most coming from Palm Beach and Broward counties, which the 22nd district spans.

West answers critics with cash

Monday, July 11th, 2011 by John Kennedy

After drawing some questions following what some thought was a tepid first-quarter fund-raising, U.S. Rep. Allen West unveiled a $1.5 million take Monday for his second three months of the year.

West’s campaign said the cash came from 23,500 contributors — what it took as a sign of widespread support for the first-term, Plantation Republican in a Broward-Palm Beach county district that has been a battleground for the past decade.

West collected $433,000 through March, third in the nation among freshmen Republicans. But West also was burning through cash quickly — raising alarms.

The GOP incumbent’s $1.5 million also eclipses the $450,000 second quarter by challenger Patrick Murphy, a first-time candidate who is facing former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel for the Democratic nomination. Murphy’s total topped his $321,000 debut quarter.

Frankel hasn’t reported the latest quarter, after totaling $254,605 through March. But she hinted Monday that she expects to keep pace with Murphy.

Frankel raises $254,105 in first quarter, trailing rival Dem in congressional primary

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 by George Bennett

Former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel raised $254,105 during her first few weeks as a Democratic congressional candidate, her campaign announced today.

That exceeds her stated goal of collecting at least $100,000 before March 31, but falls short of the approximately $320,000 that Democratic rival Patrick Murphy says he raised last month. Murphy also chipped in about $30,000 of his own money.

Frankel and Murphy have opened campaigns for the seat of U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation.

Read Frankel’s press release after the jump….

No free ride for Frankel; rival Democrat says he’s raised $320,000 in congressional race

Monday, April 4th, 2011 by George Bennett

Former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel shouldn’t count on an easy glide to the Democratic nomination for the District 22 congressional seat of U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation.

Fort Lauderdale businessman Patrick Murphy, a political newcomer who signed his Democratic statement of candidacy for the District 22 seat on March 4, says he raised more than $320,000 in contributions by March 31 and kicked in about $30,000 of his own money.

Finance reports for the first quarter aren’t due until later this month. Frankel, who signed her statement of candidacy papers on March 14, told supporters she hoped to raise at least $100,000 through March 31.

Six-figure initial haul for Frankel’s congressional campaign?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by George Bennett


Departing West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel says in a fund-raising letter that it’s “critically important” that she snag $100,000 in contributions for her just-launched Democratic congressional campaign by Thursday, which is the Federal Election Commission’s reporting deadline for the first quarter of 2011.

Frankel, who signed her candidate papers March 14 and announced her candidacy March 21, is a savvy politician who’s been running campaigns and playing the expectations game for 25 years. So we’re guessing she wouldn’t publicize the $100,000 target unless she’s sure she’ll exceed it.

Frankel has opened a campaign for the District 22 seat of U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, who raised $6.4 million for his 2010 unseating of Democrat Ron Klein. Democrat Patrick Murphy has also opened a District 22 campaign.

Former Democratic Rep. Ron Klein says he’ll sit out in 2012

Friday, March 25th, 2011 by George Bennett


Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Ron Klein of Boca Raton says he won’t run for his old congressional seat next year.

That gives departing West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel a clearer shot at the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, in District 22. Frankel launched a campaign this week. Fort Lauderdale businessman Patrick Murphy has also opened a Democratic campaign.

Klein broke the news of his plans to the Sun-Sentinel‘s estimable Anthony Man before a Wednesday night Democratic event in Pompano Beach.

Klein, a two-term congressman who was defeated by West in November, recently took a job with the powerhouse Holland & Knight law firm. Klein’s 2006 campaign manger, Brian Smoot, has signed on as a consultant to Frankel.

Democrat challenges ‘right wing extremist’ West

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Ft. Lauderdale businessman Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, is running against U.S. Rep. Allen West, a tea party favorite who unseated U.S. Rep. Ron Klein in November.

“I love my country. I love South Florida. I’m not going to stand by while right wing extremists like Allen West divide us,” Murphy, vice president of Coastal Environmental Services, said in a press release today announcing his candidacy for District 22, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

National Democrats have targeted West in next year’s elections.

“South Florida simply deserves better than what it’s now getting out of Washington. If we’re going to actually create jobs and protect families, we need representation that isn’t looking backwards,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s company specializes in disaster relief and environmental cleanup, and last year, the native Floridian spent six months in the Gulf of Mexico doing clean-up work after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. West, who lives in Plantation, supports offshore oil drilling.

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