Tea Party candidate challenges Cochran's primary win
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[August 05, 2014]
By Emily Le Coz
JACKSON Miss. (Reuters) - Chris McDaniel,
the Tea Party-backed U.S. Senate candidate who lost the Mississippi
Republican primary runoff, filed a legal challenge to the result on
Monday, alleging that he fell short in the June 24 vote because of
McDaniel submitted a 28-page legal challenge and supporting
documentation with the state's Republican Party, outlining what he
claims are thousands of instances of voter fraud. The party's
executive committee has 10 days to decide whether to hear the case.
Joe Nosef, the state Republican Party chairman, said shortly after
the filing that he had not yet reviewed the challenge and could not
comment on what the committee intends to do.
If the committee fails to act, McDaniel would seek a judicial review
in one of the state’s chancery courts, said his attorney, Mitch
McDaniel lost the runoff to incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran by
more than 7,667 votes. Cochran faces a Democratic opponent in the
November general election.
According to the challenge, some 15,000 votes were fraudulently or
inaccurately cast. The most egregious violations came from Hinds
County, home of the state capitol, Jackson. The challenge requests
results from Hinds County be omitted entirely.
“We anticipate that after they review the challenge that they’ll see
that Chris McDaniel clearly, clearly won the Republican vote,” Tyner
said at a news conference held outside his Jackson office. “I say
that very assuredly because that’s what the mathematics show.”
Earlier, McDaniel's campaign said it had found thousands of cases of
voters casting ballots in the Democratic primary and then in the
Republican runoff, which is against election rules.
It also highlighted unsubstantiated allegations that some Democrats
were paid to vote for Cochran.
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The primary runoff, pitting the Republican establishment against the
insurgent Tea Party movement, had become a multimillion-dollar
referendum on the direction of the GOP as it tries to win control of
the U.S. Senate in the November congressional elections.
Cochran will fight the challenge, said his campaign attorney, Mark
Garriga. Citizens for Cochran retained the Jackson-based law firm of
Butler Snow to defend the candidate’s primary win.
“The filing of this challenge marks the point where this matter
moves from an arena of press conferences and rhetoric into a setting
where nothing matters but admissible evidence and the rule of law,”
Garriga said in a press release.
(Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Jim Loney)
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