McDaniel Loses Legal Challenge Against Cochran

Chris McDaniel’s legal challenge of the June 24th Republican runoff has been dismissed. The decision was made Friday in Gulfport by specially appointed judge, Hollis McGhee.

The hearing only lasted for about 15 minutes. Judge McGhee agreed with lawyers for Thad Cochran and ruled that McDaniel did not file his challenge with the state’s Republican Party within the 20 day window. After the judge dismissed McDaniel’s legal challenge, disappointed supporters filed out of the chancery court room in Gulfport. Barry Neyrey, a McDaniel supporter, says, “Well sad, pretty disappointed, pretty depressed. We thought we had the right point of view on this.”

Earlier this month, McDaniel filed a challenge with the state’s Republican Party 41 days after the runoff election, but Friday, Judge McGhee ruled the challenge had to be filed within 20 days. McDaniel can now appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court. Mitch Tyner, McDaniel’s lawyer, says, “He wanted to let you know that he’s going to take the weekend and decide if he’s going to appeal this decision. This has been a very costly litigation.”

In their motion to dismiss, Cochran’s lawyers cited a 1959 Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that says an election challenge must begin within 20 days of the election. Judge McGhee agreed with the Cochran camp. Mark Garriga, Cochran’s lawyer, says, “We hope this is the end, not the beginning of the end, but the end. It’s time to get on with the general election. It’s time to put this chapter behind us.”

Leading up to the challenge, McDaniel supporters across the state participated in a review of poll books and election materials from the June 24th runoff. Neyrey closes, “I see the country, the state going down the tubes because the good ole boys have to maintain their power.”

A spokesman for McDaniel tells News 25 the Jones County Republican will hold a news conference Tuesday to announce what his next step will be.

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