Chris McDaniel’s attorney says he expects to challenge runoff results within 10 days

July 16, 2014


The lead attorney for Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) said Wednesday the campaign expects to challenge the outcome of last month's Republican runoff for U.S. Senate "within the next 10 days," but is still reviewing evidence of potential voter fraud.

The comments came after another McDaniel ally said that the campaign had not yet decided whether it would file an official challenge, creating a  muddled picture of the path ahead.

The attorney, Mitch Tyner, told reporters at a press conference outside his law office in Jackson that "there is already evidence to file a challenge." He said that "crossover votes" would likely be a big part of the challenge, but did not disclose specifics.

The "crossover" reference was apparently to Democratic voters who voted in both the Democratic primary and Republican runoff.

But state Sen. Michael Watson (R), a McDaniel ally who appeared at the press conference with Tyner, cautioned that the campaign is not yet in the challenge phase.

"This is a not a challenge right now," said Watson. He added that the campaign is doing  is "a full examination of election materials" as it decides how to move forward.

"It's a look under the hood of the election process in Mississippi," Watson explained.

Sen. Thad Cochran (R) was certified by the Republican Party of Mississippi last week as the winner of the June 24 runoff by 7,667 votes. Cochran's campaign said the same day that after a ballot box review, the number of questioned votes it discovered was "drastically lower" than what the McDaniel campaign was alleging.

McDaniel said later in the week that his campaign found "over 8,300 questionable ballots." His campaign did not elaborate much on its findings Wednesday.

The Mississippi Supreme Court has asked for more information about McDaniel’s request for voting records, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported.

McDaniel has accused Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) of deliberately misleading circuit clerks to make it more difficult for his team to review election records. In a statement last week, Hosemann suggested McDaniel's claims were without merit.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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