Speed Reads

2014 Watch

Mississippi judge throws out Chris McDaniel's lawsuit against election result, says he missed deadline

A Mississippi judge on Friday dismissed Tea Party-backed Senate candidate Chris McDaniel's lawsuit, in which McDaniel has been attempting to overturn his narrow defeat in the Republican primary against incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran — on the grounds that McDaniel missed the deadline to even file his challenge.

Judge Hollis McGehee agreed with the Cochran campaign's contention that under a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling, there is a 20-day deadline to file an election challenge. By contrast, McDaniel filed his challenge 41 days after the June 24 Republican primary runoff, which Cochran won by about 7,000 votes.

McDaniel's lawyer told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that McDaniel wants to decide over the weekend whether he will appeal McGehee's ruling up to the state Supreme Court; McDaniel will announce his decision on Tuesday.

McDaniel previously requested that the state Republican Party executive committee simply declare him the winner by about 25,000 votes; the state GOP chairman declined to grant that request. McDaniel has been defiantly seeking to overturn the primary result ever since the election night. Among other things, he has charged that Cochran's campaign strategy — which involved reaching out to the (usually Democratic) African-American community to cross over into the Republican primary — had fraudulently overturned the will of genuine Republican voters.