Chris McDaniel Challenges GOP Primary Loss in Mississippi

Supporters of state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, Miss., who sought to unseat the incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary, wave their signs and flags during a news conference by his attorneys and advisers in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Lawyers for tea party candidate McDaniel said that they intend, in the next 10 days, to file a challenge of McDaniel's loss to six-term Sen. Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Republican primary. Certified results of the June 24 runoff show Cochran won by 7,667 votes.
Supporters of state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville, Miss., who sought to unseat the incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary, wave their signs and flags during a news conference by his attorneys and advisers in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, July 16, 2014. Lawyers for tea party candidate McDaniel said that they intend, in the next 10 days, to file a challenge of McDaniel's loss to six-term Sen. Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Republican primary. Certified results of the June 24 runoff show Cochran won by 7,667 votes. Rogelio V. Solis / AP

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Tea party-backed candidate Chris McDaniel announced Monday he is challenging the results of the Mississippi Republican Senate primary runoff won by incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.

State Sen. McDaniel told reporters he has filed a challenge with the state Republican executive committee to contest the results of the June 24 runoff. Lawyers for McDaniel say the campaign has identified enough illegally cast votes to prove Cochran lost, even though certified results found the longtime senator won by 7,667 votes.

“Justice has no timetable, yet here we stand,” said McDaniel. “They ask us to put up or shut up, here we are. Here we are with the evidence.”

Since the runoff, McDaniel supporters have been sorting through ballot boxes to find voting irregularities after the Cochran campaign turned to African-American voters for support in the tightly contested race. Some of those votes, McDaniel’s campaign says, should not count because people fraudulently voted in both the June 3 Democratic primary and Republican runoff.

McDaniel’s attorney Mitch Tyner said they have found 3,500 cases of voters casting ballots in both the Democratic primary and GOP runoff and more than 10,000 questionable votes. He is hopeful the state party will declare McDaniel the winner after examining the results.

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