Here’s something a defense and national security observer cannot say most days: Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., has gone silent.
The always-vocal and verbally volcanic conservative appears to have lost — upon the first counting of the ballots in the Sunshine State’s 18th congressional district, at least — to Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy.
Several prominent media outlets have West down by about 2,500 votes. Florida law triggers an automatic recount if a race’s margin is 0.5 percent of total votes cast or less.
If West ultimately loses, he would join two other prominent House Armed Services Committee Republicans who will be leaving the lower chamber at the end of this congressional session: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, who lost Tuesday evening, and Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri who is retiring from the House and lost a Senate bid.
West and his campaign aides appear to be mulling their next move. And in uncharacteristic near-silence.
The House Armed Services Committee member’s typically active Twitter account, for instance, has been silent since Monday.
In a Wednesday statement, West campaign boss Tim Edson said there are “disturbing irregularities” about voting and recounts conducted in several areas of the district.
Political pundits and defense wonks are wonder alike: Will West demand a complete recount? Maybe.
“We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly,” Edson said, “and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary.”
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