Judge Dismisses Chris McDaniel's Runoff Challenge

Now, will he give up?

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A Mississippi judge has dismissed Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel's lawsuit challenging the June 24 runoff results in state primary, in which he lost to Sen. Thad Cochran.

Special Judge Hollis McGehee argued McDaniel was too late to file his complaint, 41 days after the election, when the state law required it to be filed within 20 days. But McDaniel's team had previously contested the notion, saying no such deadline exists.

The tea party favorite has had a hard time letting the loss go. McDaniel had initially surpassed Cochran during the state primary on June 3, but because neither candidate earned more than 50 percent of the votes, the runoff several weeks later was held, and gave Cochran a win with more than 7,000 votes ahead of McDaniel.

Still, McDaniel's team maintains there was election fraud in Cochran's camp, alleging that Cochran had voters illegally contributing to his total. Cochran did well with typically Democratic demographics, like African Americans.

Going forward, the McDaniel camp could appeal the lawsuit to the state Supreme Court, and if McGehee's ruling is overturned, the case will go to trial. McDaniel spokesman Noel Fritsch told Politico the team will use the long weekend to determine what to do next.

"While we were intent on seeing the challenge through, as provided for by law, we certainly disagreed on this point of law," he said. "We're disappointed that the facts of this case right now [without being appealed] will not be heard in a public forum. That's certainly what it's all about."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.