A Democrat won a US House seat this week with 79 percent of the vote. Her GOP opponent has not conceded.

Authored by bostonglobe.com and submitted by alabasterheart

The election on Tuesday was not national news, nor should it be. It was a special election to replace a House Democrat who died in office in April. The race itself was hardly contested by national political parties even though the US House is closely divided. Joe Biden won the area with 77 percent in the 2020 election. Given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 5 to 1 margin in the district, it was almost certain that a Democrat would win.

An election in South Florida this week may serve as a marker for where the Republican Party stands in 2022, and how much American democracy has already changed since Donald Trump lost reelection.

The Democratic winner, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, is interesting. She is a progressive who spent her own money to win and backs the concept of universal basic income. She also becomes the first Haitian-American woman in Congress to represent Florida.

She won 79 percent of the vote over Republican Jason Mariner, who was born in Boston and founded a drug and alcohol detox center in Florida. Mariner got less than 20 percent of the vote and trails Cherfilus-McCormick by over 32,000 votes. For context, Biden beat Trump statewide in Georgia by 11,000 votes.

“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 was quoted by the Miami CBS affiliate as saying.

He said he will file a lawsuit. Election officials say it takes 14 days to certify the results. Mariner, then, has 10 days to challenge them.

To be clear, Cherfilus-McCormick doesn’t need Mariner to concede to be seated in Congress. Members of the House approve who sits in the chamber and Democrats, for now, control the House.

That said, this week’s episode shows the Republican Party could be drifting toward a new norm of refusing to concede — even in landslides. In Washington state, the Republican candidate for governor refused to concede, even though results showed he lost by over 500,000 votes. Of course, Trump reiterated this week in an interview with NPR that he still wants to talk about how he believes the 2020 election was stolen from him.

While few would suggest that Mariner will be in Congress in this year his refusal to concede and decision to file a lawsuit raises an interesting question about the boundaries of American democracy. What if a partisan judge rules, without facts, in favor of a soundly defeated candidate for office? If that seems implausible, then what about for closer elections?

These questions are some of the reasons why elections for Secretary of State, the official that typically administers elections in states, are among the most high-profile of the mid-term election year.

James Pindell can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell.

acatnamedem on January 14th, 2022 at 04:55 UTC »

I've been saying this for awhile. This is the new gop strategy. No election a republican loses will not be called fraud. They can't win through democracy so they will destroy its foundations.

Senorita-Hot-Pants13 on January 14th, 2022 at 04:24 UTC »

Imagine only getting 20% of the vote or losing by over half a million votes and still not conceding. The Republican Party has truly gone off the rails

alabasterheart on January 14th, 2022 at 04:13 UTC »

The losing Republican candidate is Jason Mariner, who lost the special election in Florida's 20th Congressional District two days ago. He has refused to concede and filed a lawsuit alleging that there were issues with the ballots... Even though he got less than 20% of the vote, losing to Democrat Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick by a 60% margin. This is the new normal in Republican politics: refusing to concede and claiming election fraud even when you've been thoroughly trounced. This is Donald Trump's legacy on American politics.