McDaniel: Decision on Mississippi election challenge could be a week away

jphampton@sunherald.comJune 26, 2014 

Senate Mississippi

Geoffrey Yoste, left, chairman of the Lafayette County Republican Executive Committee, certifies Lafayette County election results for the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate race between incumbent Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel runoff, as Lafayette County chancery clerk Baretta Mosley, right, looks on, in Oxford, Miss. on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Cochran won and will face Democrat Travis Childers in the general election in November. (AP Photo/Oxford Eagle, Bruce Newman) The Oxford Eagle (AP Photo/The Oxford Eagle, ) NO SALES


State Sen. Chris McDaniel said it could be nearly a week before he decides whether to challenge his loss to Sen. Thad Cochran in Tuesday's GOP runoff.

"We're talking to lawyers now," he said on Glenn Beck's radio program Thursday. "We're trying to move forward the best way we know how. We're going to be making some tough decisions in the next five to six days."

McDaniel said he believes some Democrats who voted in the Democratic primary June 3 voted in the Republican runoff. Only those who voted in the Republican primary or hadn't voted in either primary were eligible to vote in the runoff.

Several Democrats who had voted in the Democratic primary were turned away in the GOP runoff on the Coast.

Cochran's campaign openly courted Democratic voters in the runoff. McDaniel said Democratic votes won the nomination for Cochran.

He said he won the race by 25,000 votes among Republican voters.

"(Republicans) literally embraced liberal Democrats to win an election," he told Beck. "It just goes to show you how far we've fallen."

Even some TEA Party groups that backed him have said the race is over and it's time to move on. Not McDaniel.

"We're not going to concede because there are so many irregularities," he said. The Mississippi TEA Party called a press conference for "developments" in the election, then canceled it, then re-called it, then canceled it.

McDaniel said he only needs to find 6,000 illegal votes to turn the election around.

In a statement later in the day, McDaniel asked Mississippi GOP Chairman Joe Nosef to direct circuit clerks to cooperate with McDaniel volunteers seeking election data.

"Circuit clerks should be instructed to be as helpful as possible to our volunteers as they check the poll books," McDaniel said in a statement.

Nosef said he had no comment on the request.

The Cochran campaign said it has moved on.

"The runoff election is over and now it is time to get ready for the general election in November," spokesman Jordan Russell said.

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