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Could Chris McDaniel Get A Do-Over In The Mississippi Senate Race?
Daily Beast ^ | 07.10.14 | Ben Jacobs

Posted on 07/11/2014 9:12:28 AM PDT by Red Steel

Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel is pushing for another election in Mississippi and his attorney is citing a controversial mayoral race from 2013 in doing so.

Could there be yet another election in the Republican Senate primary in Mississippi?

More than two weeks after six-term incumbent Thad Cochran won the GOP runoff against Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel, campaign workers are still swarming county courthouses in the Magnolia State trying to find evidence to overturn the election. Although Cochran won by 7,667 votes on election night, McDaniel’s campaign alleges that enough votes were improperly cast to call the result into question.

McDaniel has hired Mitch Tyner, a prominent Mississippi trial lawyer who was a long-shot Republican candidate for governor in 2003, to lead his legal team. In a press conference this week outside a courthouse in Jackson, McDaniel’s lawyer claimed that there were lots of allegations and reports of voter fraud in the race. At the time, when the margin between the two was only 6,700, Tyner said that the McDaniel campaign didn’t need to find that many illegal votes to force a do-over of the runoff but thought they would find ample evidence. The illegal votes would have come from voters who cast a ballot in the Democratic primary on June 3 but then participated in the June 24 GOP runoff in violation of state law, he said. Tyner went on to note that correct legal remedy if the runoff was called into question was “a new election.” Yet, as strange as the idea of Mississippi essentially holding a do-ever might seem, it happened just last year.

In Hattiesburg, the fourth largest city in the state, a second mayoral election was held in September 2013. In the initial election, incumbent Mayor Johnny DuPree, a Democrat, held off challenger David Ware, an independent, by thirty-seven votes. Ware went to court claiming a number of irregularities, including issues with hundreds of absentee ballots. Ware sued and after a long and well-publicized trial, a jury seemed to be willing to award him victory by a nine to three vote, the minimum needed for a civil verdict in the trial. However, when asked to give the verdict in public by the presiding judge, one voter recanted. The resulting confusion created chaos and eventually the judge declared a mistrial and simply ordered a new election be held instead. In that election, which was also rife with controversy and featured monitors both from the state and federal government, DuPree won again on a higher turnout by a margin of 202 votes.

Tyner pointed the Hattiesburg race as precedent for having a second election. However, Pete Perry, a consultant for Ware throughout his legal contest and Cochran supporter, said the comparison wasn’t valid.

Perry, the chair of the Hinds County Republican Party—who received a brief moment of national attention when he was called on to retrieve McDaniel supporters who had locked themselves in the county courthouse on the night of the first primary— though there were “absolutely no similarities” between the Hattiesburg mayoral election and the Senate primary.

In Hattiesburg, the Ware campaign didn’t allege fraud in court (although Perry said there were many issues of vote fraud that they could have raised). Instead, they focused on absentee ballots, which he noted “can be subject to all sorts of different problems if they’re not handled right.” Perry said most of the absentee ballots questioned in the mayoral race had six or seven different issues. As he described it “there was a 35 vote difference and 500 problems.” In contrast, he noted that the current margin between Cochran and McDaniel was almost 8,000 votes.

Noel Fritsch, a spokesman for the McDaniel campaign told The Daily Beast that there were “thousands and thousands of illegal crossover votes” cast on June 24. According to Fritsch, these votes would serve “as the legal basis of any challenge if there is a challenge.” However, Fritsch refused to comment on any similarities to Hattiesburg, saying simply that he “wasn’t an expert” on the race.

McDaniel, though, does have some expertise. At the time of the two mayoral elections, the Tea Partier served as chair of the Elections Committee of the Mississippi State Senate and told The Hattiesburg American that the issues didn’t come as a surprise because “for years, we’ve been aware of fraud in the system.” The state senator said he was concerned about how to “reform [election laws] intelligently” but wanted to make sure that any changes “worked well on the ground level.”

TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: chrismcdaniel; mcdaniel

1 posted on 07/11/2014 9:12:28 AM PDT by Red Steel
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To: Red Steel
He'd better!

And the GOPe needs to keep its grubby, race-baiting paws OUT of it this time, too.

2 posted on 07/11/2014 9:15:58 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: Red Steel

Do over? If Cochran is shown to have bought votes he’s over.

3 posted on 07/11/2014 9:17:44 AM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: Ray76

Cochran did not buy votes. He just supplied some of his friends with walkin’ ‘round money.

4 posted on 07/11/2014 9:26:08 AM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: 17th Miss Regt

His campaign manager appears to be the ring-leader. Cochran is done.

5 posted on 07/11/2014 9:28:33 AM PDT by Ray76 (True change requires true change - A Second Party ...or else it's more of the same...)
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To: 17th Miss Regt

Cochran did not buy votes.


It is alledged but not proven in a court of law that his campaign was associated with vote buying.
If it ever gets to trial we may have a definitive answer. A redo may well encourage both sides and
all other potential voters to become involved. If so we may see a much larger turnout of voters.

The last two general elections for senators had something over 1.2 million votes cast. The
combined primaries D&R had around 700,000. So there is a lot of potential out there yet.

6 posted on 07/11/2014 9:40:36 AM PDT by deport
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To: Red Steel; paintriot; Lil Flower; Malichi; WXRGina; duffee; onyx; DrewsMum; Tupelo; mstar; jdirt; ..


7 posted on 07/11/2014 2:05:19 PM PDT by WKB
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To: Red Steel

It’s this simple, Cochran had to enlist the support of the Democrat Party because the Republican voters had rejected him, this was done with the blessing of the RNC, if the will of Miss. Republicans (good or bad) can pushed aside by the RNC like this then there’s no need to vote Rep. anymore since there is no real Rep. choice anymore...
Bottom line-if this travesty is not redressed I’m THROUGH with what has become of the GOP, why waste money and support to benefit our RNC masters while they make a mockery of the electoral process when it suits them? I know I’m only one person with very, very little power, but someone has to say “No more!”...

8 posted on 07/11/2014 2:10:33 PM PDT by Exeter (Thad Cochran, at 78 Mississippi's newest Democrat Senator...)
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To: Exeter


9 posted on 07/11/2014 10:04:50 PM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
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