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Chris McDaniel Campaign Wants Runoff Redo

Chris McDaniel may be headed for a runoff in Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Chris McDaniel may be headed for a runoff in Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s attorney confirmed Monday the campaign’s plans to challenge the results of last month’s Senate runoff, arguing the only solution is to hold a new election for the GOP nomination.  

McDaniel lost  to Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., in the June 24 GOP runoff by about 6,700 votes. Since then, McDaniel’s allies have contested  the results and his team offered a cash prize  for anyone who can provide evidence of voter fraud.

“The correct remedy is a new election,” said Mitch Tyner, lead counsel for the McDaniel campaign. He added campaign volunteers have reviewed runoff results in 82 counties and have found evidence of voter fraud.

“I don’t know the exact numbers,” said Tyner, speaking in front of the Hinds County Courthouse in Jackson. “I know there’s several thousand that are absolutely ineligible voters.”  

Once the review is complete, Tyner said, the legal challenge will be filed with the Mississippi Republican Party and later for a judicial review.  

The results of the review are not yet available, according to the McDaniel campaign. Tyner said that while they did not have to find 6,700 ineligible votes, but added: “I would be surprised if we don’t find 6,700.”  

The review process is focused on absentee ballots, McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch said in a statement earlier Monday.  

“They are not reviewing the ballots,” Fritsch said. “They’re examining the absentee application and the absentee envelopes to determine whether voters who participated in the June 24 primary runoff election were eligible to participate.”  

The McDaniel campaign has been raising money for its legal fund. Last week, it offered 15 rewards of $1,000 each to anyone who could provide evidence of voter fraud “leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved.”  

A conservative group took up McDaniel’s cause last week, suing the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Mississippi Republican Party, saying they had not been provided full access to election documents to review the results.  

Cochran’s campaign confirmed Monday they had monitored the McDaniel campaigns review of election documents. The review had “thus far are revealing an extremely low number of crossover votes from the June 24th election,” said Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell.  

“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 added.  

In a chaotic conference call last week, Cochran’s campaign made an effort to rebut McDaniel’s allegations.  

The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.