West and his supporters argued the ad was racist; the NAACP disagreed.
West attacked Murphy for a decade-old arrest after a night of drinking when the college freshman swore at police officer a case that was ultimately dropped.
One West ad claimed After Murphys charges were dropped, Murphys father gave the prosecutor a huge campaign donation. His father Thomas Murphy made a $500 donation to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle a few years before his sons arrest and his companies made $1,500 in donations the year after.
PolitiFact rated the claim Mostly False the donations were a tiny drop in Fernandez Rundles campaign accounts. Plus, there was no proof that they were connected to the case being dropped. Murphys father has been a regular donor to national, statewide and local candidates for more than a decade.
Murphy counter attacked by spotlighting an incident when West, a lieutenant colonel in the Army, fired over the head of an Iraqi detainee. A military investigation led to a fine and reprimand.
Two candidates without party affiliation, Angel Fernandez and Jose Peixoto, also competed.
In a third closely watched South Florida congressional contest, former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, a Democrat, easily beat former state House Republican Leader Adam Hasner in a race for an open seat that stretches from Fort Lauderdale to Riviera Beach. She got 54.6 percent of the vote.
But the only congressional incumbent to lose in Florida on Tuesday was Rivera, a former state representative and powerful Florida House budget chief who became the first sitting Miami-Dade member of Congress to lose in recent memory.
Rivera, a former state representative and powerful Florida House budget chief, tacitly conceded defeat Tuesday night.
The results are still incomplete, but they do not appear to be positive, he said. I want to thank my friends and family and God for all the blessings I have received from this community. It has been a great honor to serve this community for 10 years.
In or out, I will keep fighting that will never change, he added. We must make sure that this district returns to a Republican congressman in 2014.
Rivera easily defeated Garcia in 2010. But this time around, in a newly redrawn district less favorable to the Republican, Garcia won by double digits, according to unofficial state results. The two men differ on Cuba a key issue for older, Cuban-American voters in the district with Rivera taking the hard line and Garcia favoring family travel and remittances to the island.
In his only term in Congress, Rivera came under three criminal investigations. He was recently charged with violating 11 state ethics laws. Ultimately, the bad headlines caught up with him.
A consummate politician known for his gamesmanship and hard work, Rivera, 47, stumped Tuesday at the South Kendall Community Church, talking to voters who were in line for about five hours.
Rivera had the backing of his longtime friend, Sen. Marco Rubio, who recorded robocalls and a Spanish-language radio ad for Rivera. Rubios wife wore a Rivera campaign T-shirt and volunteered at the church precinct Tuesday afternoon.
But Rivera was plagued by federal and state investigations into his personal and campaign finances, stemming from a secret, $500,000 payment he received from the Flagler Dog Track now the Magic City Casino in 2008 to run a successful slots campaign. State prosecutors dropped their investigation earlier this year without filing any of the 52 charges they had drafted against the congressman, blaming the statute of limitations and ambiguous state finance laws. The FBI and IRS are investigating whether Rivera should have paid taxes on the Magic City money.