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Outside group files arguments supporting McDaniel

Chris McDaniel

Chris McDaniel

Thad Cochran

Thad Cochran

JACKSON — An Alabama-based group is filing legal arguments to support Chris McDaniel as he tries to overturn his Republican primary loss to six-term Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran.

The Mississippi Supreme Court granted permission today for Conservative Action Fund to file briefs. Justices said the group may participate in oral arguments Oct. 2, but only if it uses some time allotted to McDaniel.

Conservative Action Fund chairman Shaun McCutcheon has sent several emails since July calling Cochran’s June 24 primary victory “illegitimate” and asking people to contribute money to his group to support McDaniel, a state senator with tea party backing.

“As you may know, I have already given $1,776 to Chris McDaniel, but the bills for filing our challenge are mounting,” McCutcheon wrote in a July 16 email soliciting money.

However, as late as today, Conservative Action Fund did not show up on the Federal Election Commission website as either a direct contributor to the McDaniel campaign or an independent group spending money to promote him.

Certified results show Cochran defeated McDaniel by 7,667 votes in the runoff, three weeks after McDaniel had led a three-person primary. Cochran and his campaign say the incumbent won the runoff fairly by telling voters about his record in Washington.

McDaniel filed a lawsuit in mid-August, claiming the runoff was tainted by the participation of Democrats. The state does not require voters to register by party. The lawsuit asked a judge to either declare McDaniel winner of the Republican nomination or order a new runoff.

Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed McDaniel’s lawsuit Aug. 29, saying it was filed too late. McDaniel is asking the Supreme Court to overturn McGehee’s ruling.

Cochran’s attorneys have a Wednesday deadline to file their arguments with the Supreme Court.

Mississippi election officials already have prepared a Nov. 4 general election ballot that lists Cochran as the Republican nominee, former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers as the Democratic nominee and Shawn O’Hara as the Reform Party candidate.

State law says a new primary could be ordered even after someone wins the general election. If that were to happen, a new general election also would have to be held.


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  1. I sincerely hope the Mississippi Supreme Court will shock the nation by doing the right thing, and send a message to corrupt politicians that the American people are fed up! This will be the greatest opportunity that Mississippi has had to bring itself out of the stereotyped image in the minds of so many Americans, that have seen movies and the media cast Mississippi in a light that is backwards, uneducated and still in the 60’s. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Mississippi has made tremendous gains in race relations the past 30 or so years. Mississippi folks know that the people in their state get along just fine as a whole, and would like to shed the image most outsiders have of them. Mississippi Supreme Court: Please do not let this opportunity to do the right thing pass you by!! This may be the most important decision you will ever make concerning the state, and possibly who controls the Senate for the next several years!

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