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Mississippi GOP won't hear challenge to Cochran

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi's Republican Party on Wednesday refused to hear challenger Chris McDaniel's effort to overturn his June 24 GOP runoff loss to U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. The party said McDaniel would do better taking his challenge to court.

In a letter to McDaniel's lawyer, state Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef wrote that a court is needed to "protect the rights of the voters as well as both candidates."

Thad Cochran Beats Back Tea Party Challenger in Mississippi

Nosef wrote that under state Republican Party bylaws, seven days' notice has to be given before the executive committee can meet. If the notice went out Wednesday, he wrote, the committee couldn't convene until Aug. 13, only one day before the deadline for McDaniel to file his complaint with a court.

Nosef wrote that the committee would have to determine procedures, decide whether McDaniel had challenged in time, order investigations by county committees, hear "potentially dozens of witnesses," examine evidence and vote in one day.

"Obviously it is not possible for our committee of 52 volunteers to attempt to engage in such an exercise in a prudent manner in one day," Nosef wrote. "In fact, given the extraordinary relief requests of overturning a United States Senate primary in which over 360,000 Mississippians cast votes, the only way to ensure the integrity of the election process and provide a prudent review of this matter is in a court of law."

McDaniel, a state senator from Ellisville whose campaign was backed by the tea party, asked the party on Monday to declare him its nominee, saying Cochran's 7,667-vote victory in the runoff was due to Democratic voters who illegally cast runoff ballots for the six-term incumbent.

"Chris McDaniel is very disappointed he will not have the opportunity to present his election challenge before the state Executive Committee, especially in light of the fact that we delivered a physical copy of the challenge to all fifty-two members of the committee," McDaniel lawyer Mitch Tyner said in a statement. "The party was the perfect venue in which to hear the challenge since it was responsible for the election, but we will move forward with a judicial review as provided for under Mississippi code."

Tyner and a spokesman for McDaniel didn't respond to emails and telephone calls seeking further comment on McDaniel's next move.

Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell continued to downplay McDaniel's challenge.

"We were surprised by this decision, but whether Chris McDaniel's ridiculous challenge is heard by the State Executive Committee or a court, we are confident it will be rejected," Russell wrote in an email.

Nosef did not answer his cellphone or immediately respond to a text message requesting comment.

Referring the issue to court also allows members of the GOP's executive committee, many of whom have ties to Cochran, to avoid ruling on McDaniel's challenge. McDaniel supporters have criticized Nosef and even called for his resignation, saying he has favored Cochran despite his claim of neutrality.

McDaniel could file suit in any county where he feels illegal voting occurred. The state Supreme Court will then appoint a special judge to hear the challenge.

There's no deadline to challenge in Mississippi, but state law urges judges to decide primary challenges before general election ballots are printed. State law says sample ballots must be given to local election officials by Sept. 10, which is 55 days before the Nov. 4 general election. That squeezes the timeline for a lawsuit and a new primary runoff. State law says a court could order a new primary even after the general election. The Nov. 4 ballot will also include Democratic former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers and the Reform Party's Shawn O'Hara.

Any court challenge could lead to a lengthy trial, because McDaniel's claims cite multiple counties. While Mississippi courts have ordered some new local elections, no court has overturned or ordered a new statewide election in at least the past six decades, according to records reviewed by The Associated Press.

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joper201 August 07 2014 at 12:57 AM

I'm a 72 yo Conservative who's been an Independent since the old time Republican's gave us Bob Dole and John McCain who gave us obama.
Then we had Mitt Romney who I think would have made one hell of a President had he had more help from the good old boys.

The Washington GOP old timers ONLY wish is to remain in power even at the expense of America suffering the likes of obama.
The Republican party is turning into a bunch of wussies.
They're so afraid of the Tea Party they will defend a old timer who used atrocious democrat part tactics to hold on to his seat.

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4 replies
drpmindmender August 07 2014 at 1:20 AM

FROM: Mississippi GOP
TO: Chris McDaniel

In what would otherwise be written in nearly incomprehensible legalese...

..."Mr. McDaniel, GO F*** YOURSELF!"

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molly2peaches August 07 2014 at 1:45 AM

Th' ailegal Dem'crat voters 'n dun it! They allus does it. They come 'crosst fum Mexico 'n... uh... Somalia... 'n.. uh... well y'all know.

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1 reply
websniece molly2peaches August 07 2014 at 3:01 AM

How ignorant...and stupid.

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1 reply
drpmindmender websniece August 07 2014 at 3:17 AM

No, what's TRULY ignorant and stupid, is that Mississippi doesn't require their voters to declare which party they're registerd as, BEFORE they can vote in primary elections. Ergo, registered Democrats can NEVER vote in the primaries for Republican candidates, and visa versa...


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Bob Rose August 07 2014 at 4:59 AM

Once again, we see that Republicans and especially this Tea Party nonsense are just bad losers. Can't except the "peoples" choice. They have their own agenda that has nothing to do with the wants and needs of the American people.
i.e. remember the bill for increased gun control? What was the poll? about 90% wanted it. Result: voted down in congress. Don't piss on my back and tell me it is raining. These self serving ******** should be thrown out on there collective conservative asses. Or, at minimum, made to sit in the corner to think about what bad boys they have been.

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3 replies
chipvpb August 07 2014 at 1:15 AM

If there is nothing for them to hide then they should hear his chakkenge.

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2 replies
JOSE--USMC--0311 chipvpb August 07 2014 at 8:25 AM


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junior chipvpb August 07 2014 at 11:29 AM

And teapuks promise and fail to deliver except to the 1% and the lobbyist who tell them how to vote.

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madkono August 07 2014 at 10:24 AM

who hates the tea party more, republicans or liberal socialists!!!

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Doug August 07 2014 at 10:25 AM

Thank God for Obama! I shudder to think what a mess this country would be in if that chameleon Willard was elected, and the present clowncar of GOP wannabes had any smarts at all.

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jimmyv2222 August 07 2014 at 6:27 AM

Of course they didnt they helped organize the corrupt runoff to ensure their buddy, cochran would win. Take them to court Chris

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Frances Settanni DeL August 07 2014 at 6:20 AM

look none of u people who backed BO have room to criticize anyone. U voted this looser in a 2nd time and look at the state of the union! now wake up!

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2 replies
susan Frances Settanni DeL August 07 2014 at 7:31 AM

I voted for him twice. I can spell and use proper English, you, on the other hand, cannot. Interesting.

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Glennis J Green CW Frances Settanni DeL August 07 2014 at 10:38 AM

And Pray tell what is wrong with the state of the union???? we have gained every job lost under Bush and some. the Stock market is busting at the seams. We have made significant cuts the number of people with medical insurance and He has cut the deficient nearly in half. What else you may find wrong. Don't blame the President, blame the people who are haters like you sitting in congress, blocking progress. Too bad he can't run for a 3rd term, because he would win again hands now.

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BarB August 07 2014 at 3:34 AM

only reason call Tea Party Conservatives names is because they hate America...and they know that MOST Tea Party people are patriotic...they have been blamed for lots of things, but, people with some working brain cells still know the truth...especially when they focus in on someone carrying a gun at one of their rallies just in the area of the gun..and when the picture zoomed out, guess they didn't think someone could actually do that....it showed an African American man and he turned out to be a liberal ...pathetic they have to make stories seem one way when they are not even close to what is portrayed

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2 replies
JOSE--USMC--0311 BarB August 07 2014 at 8:29 AM





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mr41005 BarB August 07 2014 at 8:29 AM

am a little tired of hearing people like you use the term "conservative" There is nothing conservative about the money you waste on your ridiculous lawsuits, or impeachment, or trying to repeal. While I don't agree with everything the president does, I know you can't repeal a man's skin color, and that has been the problem these last six years. Get over it.

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