A Florida Republican candidate is refusing to concede his defeat in a race he lost by nearly 60 points, CBS Miami reports.
Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick defeated Republican Jason Mariner 78.7-19.6 in a race to replace late Rep. Alcee Hastings, who represented the district for nearly three decades before passing away in April.
Cherfilus-McCormick, a progressive who backs Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and a $1,000 monthly basic income, is the first Haitian Democrat ever elected to Congress.
“No one thought that a little girl like me that was growing up in the district who was raising a daughter by myself at a time would ever be here, so it means so much to be here. The daughter of immigrants who watched my parents’ night and day as taxi cab drivers and a maid, but we made it,” Cherfilus-McCormick said.
She went on to praise her base of supporters.
“We know what was the difference,” she said. “We had a message for the people and we fought for the people. We were on the ground. We were knocking on doors. We employed the people – most of money went towards stimulating the economy and believing in the people.”
Mariner won’t concede:
Mariner disputed that he lost the deep-blue district on Tuesday.
“Now they called the race, I did not win, so they say, but that does not mean that they lost either, it does not mean that we lost,” he said.
Hours before polls closed, Mariner filed a lawsuit alleging ballot problems in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.
“And we’ll also have some stuff coming out that we’ve recently discovered,” he said.
Cherfilus-McCormick, who faced a legal challenge after winning her Democratic primary by just five votes, dismissed Mariner’s complaints.
“Well, this wouldn’t be my first time running against an opponent who is refusing to concede, so it’s not our first time, and at the end of the day nothing can stop the motion,” she said.
The new norm?
Mariner is only the latest Republican to pull a page out of Trump’s playbook and refuse to admit defeat, even in blowout races.
Maryland Republican Kim Klacik in 2020 alleged that her election was “stolen” after losing former Rep. Elijah Cumming’s deep-blue Baltimore district by more than 40 points.
Washington gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp filed a lawsuit alleging that his 545,000-vote defeat was the result of voter fraud, even though Republican officials in the state rejected his claims.
Culp ultimately dropped his legal challenge after the state threatened him with sanctions.