The Tea Party-backed U.S. Senate candidate defeated in the June Mississippi Republican primary filed a legal challenge contesting his loss on Thursday, days after his own party declined to look into his allegations of electoral misdeeds.
State Senator Chris McDaniel’s judicial petition to take up his complaint marks a new stage in a contest against incumbent Thad Cochran – once viewed nationally as a key test of Tea Party clout in challenging the Republican establishment.
“This challenge is not about the candidates,” McDaniel said in a written statement. “It is about the integrity of Mississippi’s election process.”
Since McDaniel’s loss to the six-term incumbent by roughly 7,700 votes in a June 24 runoff, his camp has insisted that he was done in largely by a cynical campaign to turn out black Democrats to vote against him.
McDaniel is asking a state court judge to review his complaint, which includes allegations of improper voting in the runoff by those who cast ballots in the Democratic primary earlier in June as well as the mishandling of election records by poll workers.
Anyone who has read more than three posts of mine know that I am not a huge fan of the Republican establishment. I wanted McDaniel to win this without going to a runoff because it would just wake up the Barbour/Cochran machine in Mississippi, which it did.
Most of what is going on now, however, seems to be so much flailing. Every time someone in the McDaniel camp says there is going to be a bombshell revelation it turns out to be varying degrees of nothingburger.
Most of the dismantling of the GOP hierarchy that needs to be done has to start at the party officials and money movers end of things, not so much with the elected officials. Neuter the Haley Barbours pulling strings behind the scenes and it becomes much easier to elect higher quality people to Congress.
This fight may end up making a point but I don’t know if anyone is putting money on McDaniel ending up on the ballot. He just seems to be caught up in something that he can’t stop.