Race for Mississippi Lt. Governor post heats up

The race for Mississippi Lieutenant Governor is heating up
The race for Mississippi Lieutenant Governor is heating up(Live 5)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 7:28 AM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - In the Lieutenant Governor’s race, the incumbent candidate is calling into question his opponent’s campaign finance filings.

There are many questions being raised regarding Ellisville Sen. Chris McDaniel’s finance filing for his bid at lieutenant governor, with most coming from opponent and incumbent Delbert Hosemann.

Some of the accusations, including missing/incomplete reports and not filing by deadline leads to difficulty in determining how much he actually has raised in the campaign.

McDaniel’s recent filing indicates he raised more than $677,000 from January to April.

McDaniel said his campaign had done everything it was supposed to do.

“We filed a report on time, we filed a complete report, but the Secretary of State’s website was down, it was crashed,” McDaniel said. “He issued a statement explaining that to the whole state. The press reported on it. Delbert Hosemann is still slandering me.”

On Friday, the Secretary of State’s office issued a release stating that a web service outage was determined to be the cause of why McDaniel’s filing appeared to be one page, excluding any itemization.

Another accusation: McDaniel failed to register the “Committee to Elect Chris McDaniel” with the Secretary of State’s Office. McDaniel’s last campaign report was field under that name.

McDaniel said he has filed under the same name for 17 years.

“For 17 years, I’ve used the exact same bank account,” McDaniel said. “For 17 years, I’ve used the exact same ‘Committee to Elect Chris McDaniel.’ It’s all there. It’s all transparent. It’s all in black-and-white. All you have to do is go click and look at it.”

In a past statement, Hosemann said “candidate committees are required to file a statement of organization and list their contributions and disbursements, pretty much like you balance your checkbook.

“Chris McDaniel has repeatedly failed to do so.”

In a letter two week ago, lawyers for Hosemann’s campaign claimed the PAC “Hold The Line” received two illegal campaign contributions totaling $465,000 from a corporation. later determined to be from the American Exceptionalism Institute.

McDaniel is the PAC’s director. Hold The Line then contributed the money to the Committee to Elect Chris McDaniel.

Hosemann’s lawyers have argued that the contribution violate campaign finance laws prohibiting corporation from donating more than $1,000 a year to a candidate or PAC.

“We sent that money back just to avoid a protracted fight,” McDaniel said. “In other words, you think about it, we have a letter of the law that’s dead. It’s no longer enforceable, but we don’t want the money tied up in court.

“And Delbert probably would have sued us. That’s what Democrats do, they file lawsuits and try to sue people. He probably would have sued us, but instead of fighting that, transparency. We sent it back, and we showed on the document we sent it back. We did everything in the light of day.”

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