In the latest indication that some Republicans still loyally use former President Donald Trump’s “big lie” logic about nonexistent voter fraud to comfort their own bruised, fragile egos, one losing conservative candidate who was trounced this week by a progressive Black woman Democrat in Florida said he planned to sue over what appear to be very definitive election results.
Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick was projected as the winner Tuesday night in the special election for Florida’s 20th congressional district to replace U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, who died last April.
Conversely, Republican Jason Mariner was officially projected to lose the election. But it’s not just that he lost — it’s how he lost. According to CNN, Cherfilus-McCormick won nearly 79% of the vote while Mariner captured about 20%, trailing his opponent by more than 32,000 votes.
Still, Mariner is refusing to concede defeat and is reportedly planning to sue over the election’s results.
His actions speak much more clearly than his words.
“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,” Mariner said Tuesday.
Mariner’s refusal to accept reality shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who was paying attention to the election. Even before polling places closed on Tuesday, he filed a lawsuit alleging issues with ballots in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, CBS Miami reported.
The Boston Globe — Mariner’s hometown newspaper — reported that Mariner “said he will file a lawsuit” over the election results.
As the saying goes, though, “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” And the numbers are decidedly in Cherfilus-McCormick’s favor, which is likely why she’s not fazed by Mariner’s reluctance to accept his loss. She said it wasn’t her first time running against a candidate who refused to concede.
“At the end of the day, nothing can stop the motion,” Cherfilus-McCormick, the first Haitian-American woman in Congress to represent Florida, said.
“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,” Cherfilus-McCormick added. “The daughter of immigrants who watched my parents’ night and day as taxi cab drivers and a maid, but we made it.”
The “big lie” — a popular reference to the reason for the ongoing threat to democracy that hit a low note with the domestic terrorist insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last year — has led to a number of sanctions and criminal charges while the right-wing arm of the Republican Party continues to get increasingly conservative ahead of the consequential 2022 mid-term elections.
Cherfilus-McCormick’s election came as a growing number of members of Congress announced their retirements or intentions not to seek re-election, As of Friday, at least 26 House Democrats and 14 House Republicans were not running for re-election this year.