CD-11’s Becchi: Catering to a Base that Does not Accept Election Results


And you thought the election in CD-11 was over.

It is, but the last two days have seen Democrat Mikie Sherrill and Republican Rosemary Becchi trading statements as if we were still in October.

Becchi began the post-election drama by filing a report with the U.S. Attorney’s office citing voter irregularities in Essex County. It included comments from 11 unidentified challengers, photos and videos.

The Sherrill campaign promptly fired back accusing Becchi of being a sore loser and not respecting the democratic process.

Undaunted, Becchi late Wednesday issued another statement accusing Sherrill of “antagonistic disregard for voter fraud.”  It suggested that the congresswoman, who is a former federal prosecutor, after all, should be more concerned about election integrity.

“It appears that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is taking the claims in the report seriously,” the statement said.

Actually, the U.S. Attorney’s Office just acknowledged receiving Becchi’s report. We don’t know how seriously it is taking the claims.

Sherrill got about 62 percent of the vote in Essex, which is not surprising given the county’s Democratic leanings.

Curiously, Sherrill did better in Essex when she was first elected in 2018.  In that race against Republican Jay Webber, she got about 67 percent  of the vote. Maybe Webber should have gone to see the U.S. Attorney.

The Becchi camp says it just wants to make public shoddy election practices that long have been the norm in Essex.

Some observers also have suggested Becchi wants to placate the GOP base in advance of another run for office. Donald Trump, quite obviously, is doing much of the same.

Perhaps. But that thinking may not go all that far.

Elections are won by seizing the middle ground, not catering to the extreme elements of your base.

Accepting defeat gracefully may be a better long-term strategy.

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