State Senator Chris McDaniel is officially contesting his June 24th Republican Senate Runoff loss to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran. This comes nearly six weeks after the election, and the tea party backed candidate believes evidence of voting irregularities will show that he is the G.O.P.’s true nominee.
For nearly a month-and-a-half state Senator Chris McDaniel has been threatening to contest his loss to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran during the G.O.P. Primary Runoff in June.
As of Monday, those threats became a reality when McDaniel's lawyers filed paperwork with the Mississippi Republican Party's Executive Committee to challenge the race. McDaniel says the runoff's outcome was a sham, and they have plenty of evidence to prove it.
"We saw the dirty tricks, we saw what they did here in Mississippi." says McDaniel. "They moved more than 40,000 Democrats into the Republican Primary, and in so doing mistakes were made. Some of those weren't even mistakes. Some of it was very intentional. What we're going to show is a pattern of conduct on the part of a number of people that demonstrates a problem with this election."
While McDaniel and his legal team have made repeated allegations that illegal voting affected the outcome of the race; they've been reluctant to share any evidence substantiating that claim.
However, at a press conference in Jackson yesterday, representatives of the campaign handed out binders filled with affidavits claiming campaign volunteers have found over 3,500 examples of crossover voting as well as about 9,500 irregular votes. When combined with more than 2,200 absentee ballots called into question, campaign attorney Mitch Tyner says the McDaniel camp feels comfortable moving forward with the challenge process.
"We anticipate that after the review the challenge that they'll see that Chris McDaniel clearly, clearly won the Republican vote on the runoff." says Tyner. "Now I say that very assuredly because that what the mathematics show. That's not what I'm arguing."
Before the G.O.P. can decide whether to overturn the results of the election, Party Chairman Joe Nosef says a four person panel of the executive committee will be formed to weigh the merits of McDaniel's Challenge, and that the party is in uncharted territory.
"There are very few rules about what exact process would be followed." says Nosef. "That's actually one of the very first things we'd have to do, is to make sure that we have a process that both sides are okay with -- that would be the ideal thing -- and then go from there."
While representatives from the Cochran Campaign declined to comment on the challenge, they did confirm that lawyers from Butler Snow were retained on behalf of the candidate to defend the results of the runoff.