Mississippi garnered unexpected national attention this summer as its system of open primary voting became a contributor to the wider debate of how best to fairly and legitimately select candidates and representatives. If you haven’t been paying attention, Mississippi’s long running Republican Senator, Thad Cochran, came very close to losing his seat to Tea Party Conservative Chris McDaniel in a rather ugly, tight primary race. In an effort to overcome his challenger in a runoff election, Cochran strategically capitalized on Mississippi’s use of open primary voting by asking traditionally Democratic voters to support him in the primary runoff against his far more conservative opponent. In a state where Democrats’ primary voters turned out in less than half the number of participants as the Republican primary, Cochran’s gambit to garner those as-yet uncast primary votes could be considered borderline tactical genius. McDaniel and his supporters are pretty sure, however, that it should be considered less than legal.Full Article: Mississippi’s Newfound Frustration With Open Primaries : State of Elections.
The state Supreme Court on Friday upheld the dismissal of Chris McDaniel’s lawsuit over his June GOP primary loss to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran. The court ruled four to two, upholding a lower court decision that McDaniel waited too long to file the challenge of his loss. Three justices did not participate. McDaniel in statement said, “Republicans are still left wanting justice” by the decision and said he hopes “conservatives in Mississippi will view this decision as a driving factor to get involved in Republican politics.”Full Article: UPDATED State Supreme Court rejects McDaniel appeal.
Losing at the state high court may not end Chris McDaniel’s months-long challenge of his election loss to Sen. Thad Cochran, his lead attorney said after arguing before the Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday. McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner said the erstwhile candidate could still file a challenge of his loss in federal court, on First Amendment grounds. He said McDaniel still hasn’t had a trial to prove the election was stolen from him and “the merits have never been heard on this case.” The state Supreme Court heard nearly two hours of arguments Thursday in McDaniel’s appeal of a circuit court’s dismissal of his election lawsuit. The court gave no indication when it might rule. Cochran attorney Mark Garriga said McDaniel’s challenge needs to end. “They blamed everybody in the world for losing the election,” Garriga said. “They blamed the trial court for losing the lawsuit, and if they lose today they want to blame other people. This has been a long ordeal for the Cochran campaign, for the circuit clerks and for all the people who have been accused of wrongdoing.”Full Article: High court mulls McDaniel appeal.
Today, the Mississippi State Supreme Court heard arguments from the legal teams of state Sen. Chris McDaniel and U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran regarding the 20-day deadline to file election challenges. A lower court previously ruled that McDaniel missed the deadline to file a challenge by 21 days, thus nullifying his attempts to prove that he is the rightful winner of the June Republican primary and therefore deserves to compete in the general election as the Republican nominee. Arguments from both campaigns raised serious questions about the current state of Mississippi’s election law and who gets to decide the state’s election process. Mitch Tyner, an attorney who is cited in McDaniel’s challenge as having cast an irregular vote and who argued on behalf of McDaniel, asked the judges to look solely at the statute in question. It is under this statute that a candidate is allowed to challenge the results of a statewide election. The statute itself, Tyner argues, is enforceable on its face without needing to draw upon rules from other statutes. No time frame or deadline is outlined in its language.Full Article: High Court Hears McDaniel v. Cochran Arguments | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS.
Mississippi: State Supreme Court sets schedule for Chris McDaniel appeal of election challenge | Associated Press
The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Oct. 2 as a candidate tries to revive a lawsuit that challenged his Republican primary loss to six-term Sen. Thad Cochran. The high court released on Tuesday a schedule for the appeal by state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Justices said they will handle the case quickly, as McDaniel requested. Justices gave McDaniel’s attorneys until Friday to file legal arguments in his appeal. They gave Cochran’s attorneys a Sept. 24 deadline to file arguments. The McDaniel camp must file a response to Cochran’s arguments by Sept. 26. Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed McDaniel’s lawsuit Aug. 29, saying McDaniel missed a 20-day deadline to challenge results of the June 24 runoff.Full Article: Mississippi Supreme Court sets schedule for Chris McDaniel appeal of election challenge | gulflive.com.
Mississippi: McDaniel’s camp files notice to appeal dimissal of lawsuit | Mississippi Business Journal
A tea party-supported candidate is taking the first step to try to revive his lawsuit that challenges his Republican primary loss to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran. Attorneys for state Sen. Chris McDaniel filed a notice of appeal Friday, saying they intend to ask the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn a judge’s dismissal of the lawsuit. Judge Hollis McGehee ruled Aug. 29 that McDaniel missed a 20-day deadline to challenge results of the June 24 Republican primary runoff. A written order of dismissal was filed Thursday, starting a 30-day period for McDaniel to appeal to the state Supreme Court. The document filed Friday contained no legal arguments.Full Article: McDaniel's camp files notice to appeal dimissal of lawsuit - Mississippi Business JournalMississippi Business Journal.
Special Judge Hollis McGehee delivered what could be the final blow to Chris McDaniel’s election challenge in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. McGehee sided with Thad Cochran in dismissing the court challenge, saying McDaniel missed a 20-day deadline to file his challenge with the Mississippi Republican Party. McDaniel has the option to appeal McGehee’s ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court, a decision McDaniel is expected to announce Tuesday. If McDaniel appeals, we are left with two scenarios:
1. The state’s high court could overturn McGehee’s ruling, in which case the challenge would be returned to the circuit clerk and move forward.
2. Justices could uphold McGehee’s ruling, and that would be the end of this long ordeal.
It is seemingly illogical that McDaniel would choose to throw the towel in at this stage. To not appeal would be conceding defeat, something he has absolutely refused to do to this point. It would be ending the fight for what he has deemed “the integrity of Mississippi’s electoral system” when there are still one more avenue to explore.Full Article: Hall: Could federal case succeed where McDaniel failing?.
Mississippi: Chris McDaniel pushes back announcement on status of election lawsuit until Wednesday | Associated Press
Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel will take at least one extra day to decide whether to try to revive his lawsuit that challenged his Republican primary loss to six-term Sen. Thad Cochran. McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch said Monday that McDaniel will take until Wednesday to decide whether to ask the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn the lawsuit’s dismissal. McDaniel’s camp originally said he would announce a decision Tuesday. Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed the lawsuit Friday, saying McDaniel waited too long to file it.Full Article: Chris McDaniel pushes back announcement on status of election lawsuit until Wednesday | gulflive.com.
A Mississippi judge has tossed out state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s challenge to that state’s June 24 GOP primary runoff results, ending another chapter in one of the most bitterly contested U.S. Senate primaries in recent memory and bringing longtime Sen. Thad Cochran one step closer to another term in Washington. Special Judge Hollis McGehee ruled that McDaniel waited too long to file his challenge with state Republican Party. McDaniel filed the challenge 41 days after the election; McGehee said that under state law the challenge had to be filed within 20 days.Full Article: Judge dismisses Chris McDaniel challenge – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs.
Mississippi judge said he will carefully consider whether to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to overturn a Republican primary victory by Sen. Thad Cochran. Attorneys for challenger Chris McDaniel want all of the election records from 47-counties shipped to Jones County by Friday. Judge Hollis McGehee heard arguments for more than an hour Thursday at the Jones County Courthouse. He said he could rule on dismissal as soon as Friday. Attorneys for state Sen. Chris McDaniel said current state law does not set a timetable for a candidate such as McDaniel to challenge an election loss. However, attorneys for Cochran said the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in 1959 that a challenge for a multicounty election should be filed no later than 20 days after election results are certified. Election results were certified July 7 and McDaniel started his challenge nearly a month later with the state Republican Party.Full Article: Judge mulls request to toss out election challenge | Politics - WAPT Home.
Chris McDaniel is taking the long holiday weekend to mull whether he’ll accept defeat from the June 24 GOP U.S. Senate primary, or continue his appeal to the state’s high court. “He wasn’t really ready to even accept (dismissal) was a possibility,” McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner said Friday after a special circuit court dismissed his lawsuit challenging his primary runoff loss. “… This is a very costly litigation and so he wants to take the weekend to decide.” Attorneys for incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran said it’s time for McDaniel, a state senator from Ellisville, to give up. “This has been an ordeal for Sen. Cochran, for his staff, for the circuit clerks, for all the people whose votes have been challenged,” said Cochran attorney Mark Garriga. “… We hope this is the end. Not the beginning of the end, but the end. We urge Sen. McDaniel and his counsel to make that so.” A campaign spokesman said McDaniel will announce his decision at a press conference Tuesday. Judge Hollis McGehee on Friday approved Cochran’s motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit.Full Article: Will McDaniel give up?.
Incumbent Thad Cochran is on the November ballot as the GOP U.S. Senate candidate unless a court orders otherwise, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said, and voting will start in September. The Board of Election Commissioners – Hosemann, Gov. Phil Bryant and Attorney General Jim Hood – approved a ballot for Nov. 4 with no discussion of Chris McDaniel’s lawsuit challenging his primary loss to Cochran. The ballot includes Democrat Travis Childers, Reform Party Shawn O’Hara and Republican Cochran for Senate. A subordinate filled in for Hood at Tuesday’s meeting. McDaniel’s lawyers last week asked for an injunction preventing Hosemann from sending out general election ballots until McDaniel’s challenge is decided. The judge declined.Full Article: Hosemann: Cochran on ballot unless court says otherwise.
Mississippi: Despite election challenge, Mississippi ballot set with Thad Cochran as Senate nominee | Associated Press
Mississippi elections commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a November ballot that lists Republican Thad Cochran, Democrat Travis Childers and the Reform Party’s Shawn O’Hara as nominees for U.S. Senate. Approval of the ballot came, as expected, while Chris McDaniel’s challenge of his Republican primary loss to Cochran is still awaiting trial. The judge overseeing McDaniel’s challenge said last week that he would not block preparations for the general election, including the setting of the ballot. State law says the ballot must be given to counties by Sept. 10, which is 55 days before the Nov. 4 general election. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Mississippi must make absentee ballots available to overseas military voters starting Sept. 20. “Unless we’re ordered to the contrary, we’re going to follow the process,” Hosemann said after Tuesday’s meeting.Full Article: Despite election challenge, Mississippi ballot set with Thad Cochran as Senate nominee | gulflive.com.
Chris McDaniel’s legal team has filed its response to Thad Cochran’s motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit to overturn his GOP runoff loss to Cochran. Cochran lawyers last week filed a motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit, saying it was filed too late. They say a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling requires a candidate contesting a statewide primary file its complaint with the state Republican Party within 20 days of the election. McDaniel filed his challenge of the June 24th primary on Aug. 4. McDaniel’s team in its motion filed today argues that there is no deadline to file a challenge in a statewide primary, and that the 1959 decision applied to old election laws, which have since been updated.Full Article: McDaniel says he didn't wait too late to file lawsuit.
Chris McDaniel’s first hurdle in his lawsuit to overturn his loss to Thad Cochran is a doozy: He may have waited too late to file it. As he worked for weeks building a case and campaigning that the election was stolen from him, McDaniel’s team said a 20-day deadline applies only to challenges of county and local elections, not a statewide U.S. Senate primary. Others, including the secretary of state, agreed with him. “Justice has no timetable,” McDaniel said numerous times when questioned why it was taking so long to file his challenge of the June 24 GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. But a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling appears also to apply the 20-day deadline to “state, congressional and judicial district” primaries. Citing this ruling, Cochran’s legal team has filed a motion to dismiss McDaniel’s lawsuit. McDaniel has until Tuesday to file a response, and a hearing on the motion is set for Thursday.Full Article: Did McDaniel wait too late to file?.
Mississippi: Thad Cochran’s attorneys want election challenge dismissed, arguing suit filed too late | gulflive.com
Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s attorneys say a lawsuit that seeks to overturn his Republican primary victory should be dismissed because it was filed too late. They also argue Cochran should not have been sued because he didn’t conduct the election. Cochran defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the June 24 runoff, and the state GOP certified the results July 7. In court papers filed Thursday, Cochran’s attorneys cited a 1959 Mississippi Supreme Court decision that a challenge to a statewide election must be filed within 20 days of when results are certified. They said that means McDaniel had a July 27 deadline. McDaniel filed suit Aug. 14 in his home of Jones County, asking a judge to either declare him the winner of the June 24 runoff or order a new election.Full Article: Thad Cochran's attorneys want election challenge dismissed, arguing suit filed too late | gulflive.com.
The judge in Chris McDaniel’s lawsuit challenging his Republican primary loss to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran expressed doubts Wednesday that a trial can be finished before the Nov. 4 general election. Special Judge Hollis McGehee told lawyers for McDaniel and Cochran he feels compelled to quickly hold trial on McDaniel’s challenge of his June 24 GOP Senate runoff to Cochran, but the case is complicated and unprecedented. McGehee said Tuesday he’ll set a trial schedule by the end of the week. He said trial will likely begin Sept. 15 or Sept. 22. McGehee scheduled an Aug. 28 hearing on motions Cochran’s lawyers plan to file to have the case dismissed.Full Article: Judge doubts Miss. challenge can be decided by Nov. 4.
Mississippi: Tyner Explains Irregular Vote: McDaniel Lawyer Listed in Challenge | Jackson Free Press
Last week the Internet poked fun at state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s challenge to the election results of the U.S. Senate race due to one piece of evidence included in the amended filings: His campaign lawyer’s name was listed as an irregular vote. Political enthusiasts on both sides speculated about why his name was listed, but McDaniel lawyer Mitch Tyner has confirmed that he voted, or at least tried to vote, for the Tea Party candidate. “His banner’s on my building; of course, I voted for Chris McDaniel,” Tyner said. Comedic blogs used the seemingly hypocritical element of the challenge to mock the McDaniel campaign, but right-wing blogger Charles C. Johnson claims the addition was unfiltered data. On Wednesday he tweeted: “The entire Madison precinct is in question, and McDaniel volunteers reported the data without filtering it so it can be properly examined in the appropriate venue.” But Tyner told the Jackson Free Press that he was listed as an irregular vote because he was listed as voting twice. He said he knew his name was on the list all along.Full Article: Tyner Explains Irregular Vote: McDaniel Lawyer Listed in Challenge | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS.
A judge presiding over a lawsuit that challenges Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s victory in a Republican primary runoff said his intention is to have the case settled in time for the November general election. A hearing was held Wednesday before Special Judge Hollis McGehee, who was appointed to hear the lawsuit filed by Chris McDaniel. McGehee said it was a unique case because there has never been a statewide election challenge. McDaniel claims he lost to incumbent Thad Cochran because of thousands of fraudulent votes and voter irregularities. McDaniel wants to be declared the winner of the Republican primary runoff or have a new election. Certified results of the June 24 runoff show that Cochran, a six-term incumbent, defeated the tea party-backed McDaniel by 7,667 votes.Full Article: Trial for McDaniel's election challenge likely next month | Politics - WAPT Home.
Mississippi: McDaniel files suit against Cochran over Republican senate run-off results | New Albany Gazette
Chris McDaniel, Tea Party candidate for the U. S. Senate, made good on his promise to take his runoff loss to Thad Cochran to the courts this past Thursday. If he is successful, it could have an impact on the election process in Union County as well as statewide. McDaniel filed suit against Cochran in McDaniel’s home county of Jones after the state Republican executive committee refused to consider his approximately 243-page challenge. Unlike his original complaint, which charged widespread voting irregularities and asked only that vote totals in those counties be thrown out to declare him winner, his suit in circuit court is potentially asking for a new Republican runoff as well. He wants the court to supersede the July 7 certification of Cochran as winner, and issue an injunction against the party’s further naming Cochran as winner. McDaniel also asks the court to issue an injunction preventing Cochran’s name to be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot and to order all circuit clerks in the state “to preserve and secure all the original documentation in any way relating to the June 3 and June 24” primary elections. This would interrupt the Nov. 4 general election process, of course, with results not yet determined.Full Article: McDaniel files suit against Cochran over Republican senate run-off results | New Albany Gazette.