By Lynn R. Mitchell
Mississippi’s GOP has said no to Chris McDaniel’s request to question the result of the June 24 primary that declared U.S Senator Thad Cochran as the winner. Jane Timm writes at MSNBC (see Mississippi GOP won’t hear McDaniel election challenge):
“Our 52-member volunteer Republican State Executive Committee has been asked to spend just five hours listening to legal arguments and then overturn a United States Senate primary in which over 360,000 Mississippians cast votes,” Nosef said in a statement sent to msnbc. “It is neither prudent nor possible in a single day for any political committee to process and review the significant amount of complex evidence necessary to make such a decision, and attempting to do so would be prejudicial to both candidates.”
The candidate-who-cannot-let-it-go wants the Mississippi GOP to declare him the winner. But his chances look slim, according to election law expert Rick Hasen:
Election law expert Rick Hasen reviewed the McDaniel campaign’s 28-page briefing on the evidence and audio testimonies it gave to the media earlier this week, and he believes the Republican candidate’s challenge is “quite a long shot.”
“Even if much of what was in there is true, and there’s good reason to believe it’s not, it does not seem to be enough, especially for the remedy he’s asking for, which is not a new election, but for the loser to be declared the winner.”
Hasen noted that the McDaniel campaign is asking to be declared the winner, though McDaniel has also said he’d be open to yet another election.
“It’s very, very, very rare” for the “loser to be declared the winner,” Hasen said.
There’s a Virginia connection to this challenge. Shortly after McDaniel’s loss, he received $70,000 from the Senate Conservatives Fund that is now headed by Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia gubernatorial candidate who lost in November to Democrat Terry McAuliffe (see Senate Conservatives Fund not backing down from Chris McDaniel/Thad Cochran fight).
Reporter Ashe Schow wrote:
Cuccinelli is clearly no fan of Cochran, or those who supported the incumbent, even though that’s kind of their job.
“When you look at what they did — the Establishment did — to try to hold onto their power, I mean, they literally adopted Democrat — worst Democrat — tactics,” Cuccinelli said. “The race-baiting, the pimping-out welfare and et cetera is what Thad Cochran was doing and the super PAC was doing.”
“And other Republican senators — none SCF-endorsed — were supporting that super PAC that did all the race-baiting attacks,” Cuccinelli added.
Cuccinelli, whose unsuccessful gubernatorial bin in 2013 received lukewarm (at best) support from the GOP Establishment, then began naming targets.
“People like [Sens.] Roy Blunt, [Bob] Corker, [Rob] Portman – they’re going to hear about it again,” Cuccinelli said. “This is not over for them because it suggests they don’t — aren’t just not conservative — that they are anti-conservative.”
“And the conservative base will respond to that,” added.
McDaniel has protested, saying Cochran recruited Democrats to vote in the primary. Clearly McDaniel’s not on the same page with Virginia’s Dave Brat who did the exact same thing to win his 7th Congressional District primary over incumbent Congressman Eric Cantor right here in Cuccinelli’s own state.