Chris McDaniel Finished Mississippi Senate Runoff With $386,000
Posted at 12:19 p.m. on July 23
McDaniel had nearly $400,000 left after his runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Chris McDaniel, who may soon launch an official challenge to the results of the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff, still had $386,000 in his campaign coffers a week after the late June election, according to his July quarterly report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
McDaniel, who hoped to use that money for the November general election, instead lost to Sen. Thad Cochran by more than 7,600 votes. But he’s since refused to concede.
Nearly a month later, his campaign continues to allege that Cochran won with illegitimate votes, and his supporters are going through Mississippi election records to determine if enough potentially illegal votes were cast to allow McDaniel to formally challenge the results.
In the second quarter — which stretched from April 1, two months before the June 3 primary, through June 30, a week after the runoff — McDaniel raised $1.8 million and spent $1.8 million, according to FEC filings.
That sum pales in comparison to the amount of money spent by outside groups on McDaniel’s behalf, which, according to data from the Sunlight Foundation, totaled $5.8 million.
The campaign owes $100,100 in debt to McDaniel, who loaned that money to his campaign at the end of last year. Some of the money left over in his campaign account likely could only be used in the general.
McDaniel’s campaign is still raising money, but all of it is going toward the legal fund, which is being used to finance the examination of election records and to pay attorneys. McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch estimated a challenge would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and that the campaign had already spent around $100,000 on lawyers.
Cochran is heavily favored to win re-election, and the race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.