Chris McDaniel Appeals for Funds to Challenge Cochran Victory

Wednesday, 02 Jul 2014 05:16 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Charging that Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran "stole" the GOP runoff election, Chris McDaniel's campaign sent a fundraising email blast Wednesday to help him launch a legal fight.

The email slammed the June 24 balloting "a sham, plain and simple," the Clarion-Ledger reported.

The state senator, who beat Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary, has refused to concede after losing the runoff by a 6,700-vote margin, alleging Cochran's strategy to get Democrats to vote for him resulted in "thousands of irregularities in the voting process."

"Thanks to illegal voting from liberal Democrats, my opponent stole last week's runoff election, but I'm not going down without a fight," McDaniel said.

"The problem is that court cases are expensive, and we don't currently have the resources to mount the legal challenge that this case deserves. Please, take a moment to contribute to the Election Challenge Fund to help me contest this corrupt election," McDaniel said in the email.

The Clarion-Ledger reported the fundraising page where donations can be made is paid for "The McDaniel Legal Fund," though the Federal Elections Committee has no record of the legal fund yet.

The fundraising appeal followed by a day a lawsuit filed by conservative group True the Vote, which names a dozen voters who claim they "double-voted" – casting ballots in Mississippi's Democratic primary and then in the Republican runoff.

Mississippi voters don't register by party. State law says the only people banned from voting in the June 24 Republican runoff were those who voted in the June 3 Democratic primary.

"The voters should be able to trust that the manner in which their elected officials are chosen is not compromised," McDaniel wrote in a separate email praising the conservative group's legal action.

McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch has said the campaign's "specific legal recourse" hasn't  been decided.

"We're kind of in a holding pattern, to a certain degree, while we're collecting evidence," he said Tuesday.

But he says the campaign has sent representatives to most of Mississippi's 82 counties to try to examine poll books to look for crossover voting, and it believes it's found about 3,300 instances of that in 38 counties.

McDaniel can force another runoff if he can find more invalid votes than Cochran’s  margin of victory on June 24, the Daily Caller has reported.

But Fritsch told the Daily Caller the campaign could force another election even without the invalid votes.

"We don’t have to prove that we have 7,000 [invalid] votes …. all there needs to be is enough doubt about the election, and we’re confident about that," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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