April 22, 2018

New Jersey Politician Who Joked About Women's March Defeated

10 November 2017, 02:32 | Lena Norman

Ashley Bennett was offended by a politician's sexist joke. So she ran for his seat — and won.

Womens March Politician Challenged

Atlantic County Freeholder-elect Ashley Bennett was a special guest on MSNBC Wednesday night following her victory over John Carman in Tuesday's general election. A few days later, dozens of women showed up to a small public meeting to confront Carman, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. According the Women's March organization, Bennett came to an Atlantic County Freeholder's meeting to protest Carman, and ended up deciding to run for his seat as well.

And there was Bennett, a first-time candidate who works as a psychiatric emergency screener at a local hospital. They brought gifts including a box of macaroni and cheese and the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie book We Should All Be Feminists. Carman refused to apologize, saying, "the women I'm surrounded by, my family, my friends, my colleagues are all strong, confident women, women who are sure of themselves".

Bennett, a first-time politician who ran as a Democrat, beat Carman by almost 1,000 votes out of some 14,000 cast in the race, the Inquirer reported.

Still, Carman's response to the controversy upset Bennett, and she said on MSNBC that she made a decision to run shortly after the meeting.

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Ashley Bennett had never run for office before.

Carman has been criticised for other controversial acts: in October, for example, he was seen wearing a jacket bearing the Confederate flag, a divisive symbol in the United States. I am beyond speechless and incredibly grateful to serve my community.

Carman, for his part, did not seem to have been awakened by the response to his Facebook post, which drew immediate backlash from his community.

Bennett plans to focus on economic development issues, noting the need to help lower- and fixed-income residents who may be struggling to keep their homes and the thousands of people left unemployed as some Atlantic City casinos closed. The 58-year-old Carman apologized to anyone who felt offended.

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