South Florida businesswoman and Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won the special election for the state’s 20th congressional district Tuesday, handily defeating the far-right Republican candidate Jason Mariner.
Mariner has previously been convicted of felony theft, cocaine possession, and obstructing justice.
According to the Daily Beast, he continues to question the legitimacy of the 2020 election, has praised the Jan. 6 rioters who attacked the Capitol, at least once had a Confederate flag tattoo on his right arm, and was accused by his ex-wife of threatening to kidnap and assault her.
Mariner filed a lawsuit this week claiming there was a problem with the ballots in Palm Beach and Broward Counties.
“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,” said Mariner.
“And we’ll also have some stuff coming out that we’ve recently discovered,” he said.
MSNBC’s Steve Benen notes that while the merits of Mariner’s lawsuit will play out in court, it could be a worrisome sign that more and more Republican politicians will claim voter fraud or irregularities as a means to challenge their election losses in the future.
“What matters here is not just conspiracy theories, pointless litigation, and partisan whining about voters’ verdicts,” Benen writes. “Rather, the far more unsettling concern is the establishment of a new normal in Republican politics — one in which the only election results many in the GOP consider legitimate are the ones in which Democratic candidates lose.”
Cherfilus-McCormick, who campaigned on an overwhelmingly progressive platform, will succeed the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), who died in April. According to the final tally, McCormick won with 78.7 percent of the vote, while Mariner received only 19.6 percent.