McDaniel to file formal challenge - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Attorney: 'Mathematics' show McDaniel should have won the nomination

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Chris McDaniel's campaign has announced it is challenging the results of the June 24th runoff election because of evidence that McDaniel should have won.

The formal challenge was sent to the Mississippi Republican Party Executive Committee Monday.

In the afternoon press conference, Chris McDaniel said he sees this as an opportunity for the party to take the lead on honest, good transparent elections.

"The facts, they're on our side," McDaniel said to supporters Monday. "The law is on our side."

He says he believes the Executive Committee will grant them a hearing. His attorney went on to say they hope that will happen 8 days from now.

You'll remember, the GOP Executive Committee had already unanimously voted to certify the election results.

Since the runoff, McDaniel volunteers have spent days pouring through poll books and ballot materials. One concern has been crossover votes.

"What it boils down to here is objective evidence of wrong-doing, objective evidence of ineligible votes," McDaniel explained. "This isn't just us knee-jerking at this point. We've had several weeks of investigations. several weeks of research into this matter."

McDaniels campaign says it has found approximately 3,500 crossover votes and that "mathematics" show McDaniel should have won Republican nomination.

Attorney Mitch Tyner says they did polling after the runoff and found that 71 percent of voters who identified themselves as Democrats admitted they won't support the Republican nominee in November, which they say violates state law. He says if you factor that in, you get different results.

"You can see that Chris McDaniel clearly won the runoff by 25,000 votes," Tyner explained.

Certified results showed incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran with a 7,667 vote margin of victory.

"We anticipate that after they review the challenge, they'll see that Chris McDaniel clearly clearly won the Republican vote on the runoff," Tyner said.

Senator Thad Cochran's campaign has responded to McDaniel's Monday announcement.

His attorney issued this statement: 

"We can confirm that Butler Snow has been retained by Citizens for Cochran to defend the election contest filed today by the Chris McDaniel campaign with the State Executive Committee of the Mississippi Republican Party. Like other Mississippians, we have watched with interest as the McDaniel campaign has made repeated and baseless allegations of fraud and misconduct against not only members of the Cochran campaign staff, but also Circuit Clerks and volunteer poll workers around the state.

The filing of this challenge marks the point where this matter moves from an arena of press conferences and rhetoric into a setting where nothing matters but admissible evidence and the rule of law. We look forward to holding the McDaniel campaign to the burden of proof that the law requires – and, we are dedicated to the defense of the votes of those Mississippians who voted on June 24 for Thad Cochran as their United States Senator, an election which has been as thoroughly reviewed and examined as any in modern Mississippi history."

Earlier Monday, Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef said he's tried to remain neutral throughout the whole process.

He says he still can't say a whole lot about the challenge because he would serve in a judge role for the GOP executive committee.

There are limited rules on how the Executive Committee will handle challenges. 

The party chairman says there's not really a precedent for this.

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