A Florida judge has allowed a recount to proceed in St. Lucie County in the race between Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West and the Democrat whom unofficial returns show unseated him.

St. Lucie Circuit Judge Larry Schack denied an emergency motion Saturday by Democrat Patrick Murphy's campaign to halt the count, which they say is illegal.

Schack said that if a candidate is unhappy with the ultimate vote count, the law gives them the option of formally contesting the election once it's certified next week.

Election workers are processing thousands of early votes in the contest, of which Murphy is the unofficial winner.