After New Jersey Freeholder John Carman shared a meme in January mocking the Women’s March and asking if its participants would be home in time to make dinner, dozens of women showed up at his office while brandishing convenience foods and takeout menus. Nine months later, one of those women has taken his seat. Democrat Ashley Bennett went up against Carman in yesterday’s election and won by 1,000 votes, ousting the tone-deaf legislator nine months after she set out to criticize his ill-received joke.
Back in January, Bennett emphasized the way Carman’s comments came across not as the joke he’d intended but as mocking and belittling his own constituents. She and other women attending a Freeholder meeting explained how they felt, and they filed out after Carman declined to apologize. “Instead of apologizing and saying you could do better, you disrespect people and say the people you surround yourself are strong,” Bennett explained. “There are a lot of people who are strong.”
Bennett proved that yesterday when the 32 year old won the race on a platform of strengthening Atlantic county’s tourism industry, increasing jobs, and decreasing foreclosures. She said of her victory, “People want change. I am beyond speechless and incredibly grateful to serve my community. I never imaged I would run for office.” It seems the joke is on Carman, in the end. As people celebrate Bennett’s big win, men and women alike have been cooking up all kinds of puns about Carman’s defeat.
“Perhaps John will appreciate that revenge is a dish best served cold,” said one Ventnor, New Jersey resident on Facebook. Someone else tweeted, “So much deliciousness last night, with this as the tastiest slice of karmic pie.”
Even Bennett herself was in on the humor, tweeting in late October, “A WOMAN’S PLACE ISN’T JUST IN THE KITCHEN, IT’S ALSO IN POLITICS.” Not only did Carman have to eat his words, Bennett will have an opportunity to continue to serve — not dinner, but the community of Atlantic County.
(Via Philadelphia Inquirer)