Democratic candidate Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won her Florida U.S. congressional race by a landslide last week, but her pro-Trump Republican challenger Jason Mariner is still refusing to concede, according to multiple sources.
Mariner is an entrepreneur whose campaign website highlights the endorsements he’s received from prominent Black Republicans despite having an apparent affinity for the Confederate flag, according to The Daily Beast.
Mariner’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day message to his Facebook followers called out the “left” for “race-bait [ing]” and “using the Black community as political pawns.”
“Today, I honor Dr. Martin Luther King by not giving a damn what you think and telling it how it is,” Mariner wrote. “I’m 100% certain that when Dr. Martin Luther King gave this speech (the- “I have a dream…” speech), he wasn’t talking about blaming disparities in the Black community on ‘white privelage’ [sic]”.
Mariner’s campaign filed a lawsuit last Tuesday contesting the results of he and Cherfilus-McCormick’s special election before the outcome was even decided, according to CBS Miami.
“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 told the local TV news station on Jan. 11.
His lawsuit alleges there were problems with special election ballots in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, per CBS Miami.
“We’ll also have some stuff coming out that we’ve recently discovered,” Mariner said. He did not immediately respond on Monday to a request for comment from theGrio.
Voters in Florida’s 20th congressional district cast their ballots to decide which of the two candidates would replace U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), who died of pancreatic cancer in April.
Cherfilus-McCormick won the race by a 59 percentage point margin, according to the New York Times. The former attorney is scheduled to be sworn into office on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
She has pledged her support for providing Americans with $1,000 monthly checks and for enacting progressive policies, including the climate proposals offered in the Green New Deal in addition to Medicare for All.
Cherifilus-McCormick thanked her supporters on election night after the outcome was decided.
“We know what was the difference,” she said, according to CBS Miami. “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.”
The rising star hasn’t fretted much about Mariner’s unwillingness to accept their election results.
“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 told the news station.
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