WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) — The state of Florida says Republican Rep. Allen West lost his re-election bid by 2,442 votes. West, however, refuses to concede.

The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Office has announced it will begin a recount if early votes at 7 a.m. Sunday in the West-Murphy race.

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“While we look forward to reviewing the poll books used to check-in voters during early voting and Election Day, this recount goes a long way to ensuring an accurate outcome,” West said.

The state reported its complete but unofficial tally on Saturday in the 18th District race. There are still a handful of overseas and military ballots outstanding, but under Florida law, recounts are based on Saturday’s results.

Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy won enough votes to avoid an automatic recount. West’s only option now is through the courts.

A statement from the Murphy campaign late Saturday afternoon reads, in part:

“Allen West is in fact continuing to refuse to concede despite the final vote.  West’s campaign manager was quoted today saying, ‘We’re simply not going to just walk away from the race until we see that the numbers add up.’

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West’s only potential path forward is through a lengthy legal battle. His next court case is next week and his legal battle will continue for however long Allen West decides to dig in his heels.  We must continue to be prepared for a long and lengthy battle.

We hope that Allen West will put this behind him now that the votes are certified and we can all start to move Florida forward.”

West still could contest the election if misconduct or fraud might have changed its result.

West is a tea party favorite known for his strong criticism of President Barack Obama and other Democrats. He maintains that voting irregularities in St. Lucie County need to be investigated before he concedes.

More Election 2012 coverage on the CBS4 politics page

Results from county and state races

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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)