A lawyer for the campaign of Mississippi Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel hinted the campaign was preparing a legal challenge to contest the results of a June 24 Republican primary runoff election.
Mitch Tyner, the lawyer, said at a press conference Monday the McDaniel campaign would seek a new election between McDaniel and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who prevailed over McDaniel in the June 24 runoff.
“The correct remedy is a new election,” Tyner told reporters Monday afternoon outside the Hinds County Courthouse in Raymond, Mississippi.
Tyner said it was “very likely” an official challenge to the runoff election results would be filed in the “coming days.” McDaniel has refused to concede in the wake of the runoff election, refusing to put out the flame on what has been called the nastiest election fight in America.
The McDaniel campaign has claimed it has found thousands of voter “irregularities,” as well as a number of illegal “crossover” votes from Democrats who shouldn’t have been allowed to vote in the June 24 Republican primary runoff. The Cochran campaign has said that McDaniel’s team has yet to provide any hard evidence of illegitimate votes — and that its claims of large numbers of “voter irregularities” are largely exaggerated.
Tyner said Monday he didn’t “know the exact number” of voting irregularities the McDaniel campaign had found. But he said the campaign didn’t necessarily need to come forward with 6,700 such votes — the approximate margin of victory for Cochran in the runoff.
“I would be surprised if we don’t” find that amount, he said.
According to Mississippi law, voters do not have to register with a political party. Any person who doesn’t case a vote in a primary election can cast a ballot in either party’s runoff.
Cochran campaign spokesman Jordan Russell released a preemptive statement ahead of Tyner’s press conference, saying the campaign had dispatched representatives to all 82 counties and Mississippi. Russell said the results reported revealed an “extremely low number of crossover votes.”
“As the process moves forward, the conversation is shifting from wild, baseless accusations to hard facts. As we have said from the beginning, the run-off results are clear: the majority of Mississippians voted for Senator Thad Cochran,” Russell said.
McDaniel’s campaign has been weighing a legal challenge since the June 24 runoff. Last week, he announced he was forming an “election challenge fund” to contest what he called a “corrupt” election. And last Thursday, his campaign announced rewards of $US1,000 each to individuals providing “evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud,” a move Russell told Business Insider was a “frivolous, baseless stunt.”
“If they had information of actual voter fraud, they wouldn’t be doing that,” Russell said. “It’s such a joke.”
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