McDaniel campaign: Expect a challenge 'within 10 days'
July 16th, 2014
04:33 PM ET
6 years ago

McDaniel campaign: Expect a challenge 'within 10 days'

(CNN) - Chris McDaniel's campaign said it expects to file a challenge "within the next ten days" to the results from last month's GOP Senate primary runoff in Mississippi.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Mitchell Tyner, McDaniel's lead attorney, also had a pointed evaluation of the tactics used by Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign and allied groups, accusing them of "race bating" in their strategy to garner support from African American Democrats to edge out McDaniel in the runoff.

"To see people who call themselves conservative Republicans rip this state apart is wrong," added state Sen. Michael Watson, a member of McDaniel's legal team who also spoke to reporters.

He added that the McDaniel campaign is in the process of fully examining election material, calling it "...a look under the hood" of the election process.

McDaniel, a state senator who enjoyed strong support from tea party groups and anti-establishment groups, narrowly edged out Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary, but with neither man cracking the 50% threshold needed to win, the contest moved to the runoff three weeks later, which Cochran won by more than 7,600 votes.

The longtime senator's victory was apparently aided by votes from African-Americans, a largely Democratic voting bloc, who were actively courted during the runoff by Cochran's campaign and allied groups.

"There's already enough evidence to file a challenge," Tyner said, citing invalid crossover votes as a significant part of their challenge.

According to Mississippi law, voters are not required to register with a political party, and anyone who doesn't vote in a primary election can cast a ballot in either party's runoff.

After their narrow loss in the runoff, McDaniel's campaign dispatched volunteers across Mississippi to investigate the results in the state's 82 counties.

Accusation of racism have swirled since Cochran won the runoff.

"The last two and a half weeks of that campaign, they went out to Democratic communities, predominantly African Americans in our state. They called me a racist. They race bated. They said if I was elected I would suppress their right to vote or do away with it," McDaniel said on CNN's "New Day" earlier this month.

McDaniel supporters reiterated that sentiment on Wednesday as they announced their plans to mount a challenge in the coming days.

"The Cochran campaign, through their race bating.. took Mississippi back 50 years in race relations," Tyner said.

Cochran's campaign attributed the support from the African American community to four decades of relationship-building in the state.

If Chris McDaniel had spent more time courting African American votes rather than complaining about them participating, he might have done better on election day," said Jordan Russell, communications director for Cochran's campaign.

Related: Cruz wants investigation of Cochran-McDaniel runoff results

Filed under: Mississippi • Senate • Thad Cochran
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Well, how many days, weeks, or months do you get to file a challenge?

    July 16, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Got to hand it to the teaklans. They don't accept failure (and they have plenty of them) that well do they?

    July 16, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    "Them's the rules"-unless you don't like the outcome.
    PS-again, a La. Boy saluting sane Miss. Repubs & Miss. Dems for joining hands to defeat hate. All the Civil Rights Blood shed may not have been in vain.

    July 16, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    McDaniel "They called me a racist."
    Dude we can see you.
    You were a member of the Confederacy re-eactment club – not Civil War – Confederacy.
    I read your quote accusing Obama of faking his college attendance (certainly his kind would do that.).
    I read your quote about the picture of a white woman holding down a black woman not as bad holding down a gay man.
    (sad on multiple many levels)
    I heard your racist rants on your radio show.
    You are a racist. People can see that. They voted accordingly. It is no government or liberal conspiracy.
    It is you.

    July 16, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  5. O'drama ya Mama

    Why do they keep calling them Democratic voters when there is no voter registration in the state of Mississippi? How do they know?

    July 16, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. sonny crapman

    Why did Democrats have to vote illegally in this primary and screw up the election? Can't you clowns ever just stop creating disasters with your illegal activity? Don't you have anything better to do with your time, like take in 10 or 20 illegals to your home and pay for their upkeep?

    July 16, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "McDaniel "They called me a racist."
    Dude we can see you."

    Hey now...maybe they're all stupider than we originally thought and are in fact so regressed that they fail object permanence tests: they think if they can't see you, you can't see them...out of sight out of mind, etc. Explains the white robes and hoods I suppose. "Is that you under that hood, JimBob?" "No SteveBob, it's not me."

    July 16, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    It has to be hard for an admitted racist to be rejected in his own state.

    July 16, 2014 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. CShaffer

    Even 8 year olds in Little League know that when you lose, you shake hands with the winner and head for Pizza Hut. I would hope that someone who aspires to be in Congress would have at least as much maturity as an 8 year old. If McDaniels does manage to put together a case, I hope the evidence is examined closely. Something tells me that McDaniels would do anything to win, legal or illegal.

    July 16, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain: If you don't like Congress, get rid of the repub/tea bag majority

    I just don't see the problem with encouraging people to vote! This McDaniel guy is a sore loser – who's using the fact that he LOST as a fundraising tool and a way to get a book deal and/or job with fox/RWNJ talk radio.

    July 16, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. yolanda

    Please take Ms. Palin away with you.....anywhere, just far away.

    July 16, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Charles

    Good for McDaniel!!!

    July 16, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. don in albuquerque

    Put a mark on the wall. Totally agree with you.

    July 16, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. pjoe

    If fraud was committed, we need to expose it to the sunlight. Corruption can not be tolerated. Bring forth the evidence.

    July 16, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    Good for McDaniel!!!
    That's one vote for McDaniel.
    And good for all the other voters that voted against having an obvious racist win an election.

    July 16, 2014 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. rs

    A challenge to what? Mr. McDaniel's mental competency? The law is the law, if Democrats and minorities voted for Mr. McDaniel's Republican opponent in an open primary election- well that's perfectly legal. Perhaps McDaniel should have self-censored his racial comments and actions before the election.
    Sure, there's no internal GOP civil war, right?

    July 16, 2014 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  17. somebody

    So his lawyer talks about tactics used by Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign and allied groups, accusing them of "race bating" in their strategy to garner support from African American Democrats. They go on to base their claim citing invalid crossover votes as a significant part of their challenge.

    As others have said, we see you Mr. McDaniel for the racist that you are. Open primaries in your state mean anybody can vote for D's or R's. There is no such thing as an invalid crossover vote in that case. You lost in a fair and legal election. Get over it.

    July 16, 2014 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. J. Russell


    You'll be a Senator right after a visit from the Tooth Fairy. or any other of your imaginary friends. I assume it's comforting being delusional.

    July 16, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. jinx9to88

    Maybe McDaniel should higher Mr. Issa to investigate? But then again Mr. Issa is batting 0 for 10 on investigating Obama. ROTFLMAO!!! These GOP representatives are a joke!!!

    July 16, 2014 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. Mike R

    I love the tea party terrorists. They complain about the dem's voting. Well McDanial should understand that probably a republican will win the seat. That being the case, I would do whatever I could to pick the lesser of 2 evils. The senator will represent all 2.9 million people from Mississippi. McDanial is clearly a racist. Only the racists would argue he's not. But then he's trying to fool the many ignorant voters in MS. MS needs a lot of help. It's the poorest state in the US.

    July 16, 2014 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Iis there anyone who can independently corroborate what McDaniels is saying? If all we have to go on are his efforts, there is a large problem with credibility. McDaniels would only be confirming that he lacks the talent and temperment for the Senate, and he would be better off shaking hands with Neo-Confederates at their seditious gatherings.

    July 16, 2014 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  22. just asking

    Something tells me that McDaniels would do anything to win, legal or illegal.

    no, he claims he is the victim of illegal activity of illegal democrat primary voters. he should be allowed to state his case and prove whatever he can prove. it would not be the first, nor the last, election democrats have tampered with illegally in order to affect the outcome.

    July 16, 2014 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  23. Chris

    If you vote in the Democratic Primary, then you can't vote in the Republican. Plain and simple. McDaniel needs to file and lets find out. If more than 8k voted in Democratic primary, then he wins. If not then he loses. If I was in his shoes I would challenge also.

    July 16, 2014 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. cri33

    "I lost and I don't like it...therefore even if he won fair and square, I am going to sue!"

    July 17, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. JimInNM

    Takers and users are the real haters and abusers.

    July 17, 2014 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
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