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February 10, 2016

Chris McDaniel Attorney: Mississippi Election Challenge Coming

Chris McDaniel is preparing to challenge the Mississippi runoff results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorneys for state Sen. Chris McDaniel said Wednesday they have sufficient evidence to challenge the results of Mississippi’s Republican Senate runoff — which McDaniel lost to Sen. Thad Cochran last month — and expect to do so in the next 10 days.

“We’ve heard it our entire life in Mississippi,” McDaniel campaign attorney Mitch Tyner said at a press conference in Jackson. “Votes are being bought. Ballot boxes are being stuffed. … Personally, I’m 51 years old, it’s the first time I saw it up close and personal. And it exists. And we are committed to finding it and rooting it out and stopping it.”

Cochran was declared the winner of the June 24 primary runoff by a margin of 7,667 votes. McDaniel has refused to concede, and his campaign is now reviewing the voting records in all 82 counties of Mississippi.

Tyner and Republican state Sen. Michael Watson, an attorney assisting the McDaniel campaign, declined to provide the specific number of questionable ballots they’ve found during their review. Tyner said they plan to be “mature” about it and not “do a tit for tat with the Cochran campaign,” which has released specific numbers as it conducted a review of its own.

The McDaniel campaign previously claimed they had found 8,300 questionable ballots; The Cochran campaign put the number at 900 in their most recent statement.

Strangely, before Tyner stepped forward, Watson took great pains at the outset to make clear filing a challenge was not a foregone conclusion.

“This is not a challenge right now,” Watson said. Instead, it’s “a look under the hood.”

“That may come,” he said of a challenge, “but that day is not here right now.” Beyond that, he said, “If Chris does not find enough evidence to mount a challenge to this election, he won’t do it.”

The press conference had something of a church service feel, with a group of McDaniel supporters not visible on WJTV’s online live stream echoing and cheering in response to the attorneys, who painted McDaniel’s determination as noble and entirely unselfish.

“Everybody knows that he could have conceded and written his ticket for any office next year,” Tyner said. “But Chris McDaniel said ‘No. I want to root out the problems, I want integrity in this process, and if it destroys my political career, so be it.'”

The two accused the Cochran campaign of “race-baiting” and said they single-handedly “took Mississippi back 50 years in race relations.” Black state senators, Tyner said, had become uncomfortable interacting with Watson, who is white, in the aftermath of the campaign.

The Cochran campaign, looking to move on to the general, responded at a press conference of its own in Jackson. Cochran senior adviser Austin Barbour scoffed at the McDaniel campaign’s posturing. “Their only issue is they didn’t win on June 24,” he said.

He attacked the McDaniel campaign for not releasing specific numbers to back up their claims.

“Sadly,” Barbour said, “with the lack of evidence, they fill that gap with rhetoric, grandstanding and fundraising appeals.”

  • E Brown

    These people have no shame.
    Why have a press conference if they are unwilling or unable to demonstrate some illegality as a basis for their whining? Apparently their only objective is to get attention.


    The republican and democrats have both failed the more than three million unemployed families who are still without an unemployment extension since late last December. While both political parties walked away from the issue, these millions of families were left in financial ruin and deep poverty. Over the past seven months these families have lost much of what they have ever worked for. while billions of dollars were approved for the Ukraine, and more to support illegals at the border, nothing was given to these families so desperately in need. Where is the compassion and common decency for these unemployed??

  • Layla

    They don’t need to show it to you, only to the court. It exists.

  • iizthatiiz

    • McDaniel Campaign Press Conference • full video • 7/16/14 •


  • iizthatiiz

    They don’t need to prove their case to the Barbour mafia. McDaniel will present his evidence in open court .. before a judge. Those within the cogs of the Barbour corruption machine are terrified of this. They are well aware of the massive fraud they have committed. Only the guilty fear being taken to court. The righteous walk into the exposing light.

  • daddyoyo

    You’re kidding, right. Democrats supported an extension. Republicans opposed it. Try to keep up.

  • sp

    If they don’t need to prove their case to “the Barbour mafia” and the rest of us who are following this mess, then they seriously need to stop the ad nauseam accusations in public. It looks VERY bad when they are so publicly badmouthing virtually every Mississippi official who isn’t in their camp (and send fundraising e-mails talking about a “sham” election) while not coming forward with ANY proof or even mentioning numbers.

  • Sally

    Prove it. I truly doubt that 7,000 people voted illegally, and all of them for Cochran. Good grief. The GOP certified the election for Cochran. And this fool who thought it was just fine to send someone to photograph Cochran’s wife in a nursing home wants to get elected? The people spoke, Cochran. You lost. Grandstanding will not change the result, just make people more likely to vote Democratic. Please proceed.

  • Layla

    How many do we still have without jobs? Oh, that’s right, nearly 100 Million Americans STILL WITHOUT JOBS.

    Cut the BS. Where are the jobs?

  • Layla

    I didn’t lose anything, I don’t live in Mississippi. You should be worried about voter fraud, Sally. It exists. And soon the entire country will see the proof.

  • centerroad

    After six years of tea party whining we’re still waiting for the first substantiated attack.

    Let us know when your hysterical scream is over so we can take out the ear plugs.

  • centerroad

    The only voter fraud I’m worried about is that perpetrated by the tea party on voter rights. Keep it up and you’ll face the same beat down you got the last two times, 1860’s, 1960’s.

  • Honey Badger

    is that the same light used to take pics of Cochran’s wife in that nursing home? the same light shone through Mayfield’s garage when he off’d himself? the same light that came to shine when the courthouse doors were opened in the middle of the night with McKlaniel’s operatives inside? Just curious

  • daddyoyo

    100 million? Not unless you count 90 year old paraplegics and infants in diapers. Unemployment has been reduced from 10% to 6.1%. Oh… you say you don’t like the U3 metric. How about the U6 which, for the uninformed, measures those not in the workforce who would still like a job. That one’s dropped from 17% to 12.1%. You name the metric. Every single one has been improving in spite of Republican attempts to sabotage the economy.

  • david kleber

    What comes around, goes around, and the folks who are played as fools with this 2 party charade, will only stand up and speak out when it’s one of your candidates who falls victim to potential voter fraud.

    Fact is, we’re supposed to have fair and equal elections… and part of that deal is that the voting records should be freely available for inspection and scrutiny. Who would like to make a defense against that premise?

  • E Brown

    “Barbour mafia”?
    “They are well aware of the massive fraud they have committed.”
    These are defamatory statements that CANNOT be supported with evidence and on par with the McDaniels group’s nonsense.
    Statements like these should only be uttered along with PROOF.

  • Micky Baker

    You mean Obama’s policies have failed? Progressive, left wing policies have indeed failed.

  • Micky Baker

    Democrats would support an extension because they know what they did in 2009 is the reason they need to extend them. It’s the left’s fault.

  • Micky Baker

    It is nearly 100 million who are NOT disabled, NOT incarcerated, and NOT in a nursing home. What’s really sad is that you only have to read past the two paragraphs to know this.

  • Micky Baker

    “Should only be uttered along with PROOF”.

    You know, when they arrest someone, they never show proof when they arrest someone.

  • Micky Baker

    You doubt that as little as 7000 people voted illegally? “Rock, move out from underneath it”.

  • Micky Baker

    Tea Party is perpetrating against voter rights? Really?

    1860’s<<< DEMOCRATS, they are still the same. 1960's DEMOCRATS FAKED LIKE THEY GIVE A DAMN, and the blacks are still as bad off as they were in the 1960s because of the Democrats kept them down on purpose.

  • E Brown

    You do know that the subject is defamation? A legal arrest must have probable cause that some crime has been committed. For probable cause there must be some evidence or the arrest is illegal.

  • Micky Baker

    Wait, so calling people who aren’t racist, racist isn’t defamation? That is what Cochran supporters did to get out votes.

    By the way, the article states that there is enough evidence to challenge the election. The judges in Mississippi are forcing the election commission to allow access to voting records.

    This will first determine how many people voted in the Democrat Primary and then illegally voted in the GOP run-off. That’s a crime, and that is voter fraud.

    Second, as the investigation continues, they’ll also find out how many(not if) but how many were paid to vote for Cochran.

    This isn’t about arresting anyone. This about challenging the election. They don’t have to present any evidence to you in order to arrest you.

  • iizthatiiz

    the evidence is spilling out all over. Indictments are inevitable at this point.

    The Barbour Machine’s Mississippi Ad War

    FEC complaint to be filed against Crudup’s PAC

  • E Brown

    They ARE racist and the truth is a defense.
    They have always had access to the ballots, what they wanted was access to voters personal information and the Mississippi State Supreme Court denied that access as illegal.
    The article states that the McDaniel SAYS there is enough evidence but have not produced it.
    If just challenging an election because you don’t like the outcome was the standard NO election would ever be final.
    If you are arrested not only do they have to provide the court evidence of the alleged crime but show evidence of probable cause to arrest you.

  • centerroad

    As always, FACTLESS spew.

  • Micky Baker

    You mean, I’m right and you know it. The Democratic Party knows I’m right, and that’s why they try to slander all those like me. They are projecting what they are onto those that aren’t.

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