Hours after Rep. Patrick Murphy officially took office, Biden performed his own ceremonial swearing-in for Murphy. The vice president commended Murphy for ousting outspoken former U.S. Rep. Allen West, a contest that drew more than $30 million combined and grabbed national headlines.
“I’d like to say to all of you, you did the country a favor,” Biden told the crowd.
Despite results showing West trailing Murphy by 1,900 votes, West refused to concede the election, suggesting “disturbing irregularities reported at polls” affected the outcome. It wasn’t until two weeks after the election that he finally conceded while still insisting on “inaccuracies in the results.”
“While a contest of the election results might have changed the vote totals, we do not have evidence that the outcome would change,” West said.
Though West is no longer a member of Congress, he’s still seeing support from some Republican peers. Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) — two of the House’s most outspoken conservatives — voted for West as Speaker of the House at the start of the new Congress Thursday.