McDaniel Aide, Supporters Cleared After Courthouse Lock-In

Friday, 06 Jun 2014 09:16 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A staff member and two supporters of Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel's U.S. Senate campaign didn't commit any crimes when they ended up locked inside a county courthouse with primary ballots on Tuesday night, the local sheriff's department has determined.

"Based on our findings and subsequent conclusion, there is no reason to believe that the three individuals engaged in any criminal activity, nor do we believe any laws were broken," Othor Cain, a spokesman for the Hinds County Sheriff's department, said in a statement Thursday, The Hill reported.

Scott Brewer, who is McDaniel's campaign coalition director, was locked inside Tuesday night with Central Mississippi Tea Party board member Janis Lane and Rob Chambers, a consultant with the Mississippi Baptist Christian Action Commission. They had been sent to the courthouse to oversee the ballot counting process and take down final vote tallies, the campaign said Wednesday.

Cain said the three entered the building through either a door that was propped open or broken, rather than being directed in by uniformed officials, as Lane had first indicated.

The three entered the building at some time after 2 a.m. and called for help after they realized they were locked in, The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., reported.

McDaniel is in a heated battle for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Thad Cochran. The two will face a run-off election on June 24 after neither got 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

On Thursday, before the findings were released, Cochran spokesman Jordan Russell told The National Review that the McDaniel campaign is "full of criminals" who "cannot keep themselves out of trouble with the law."

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