GULFPORT, Miss. — Special Judge Hollis McGehee decided Friday afternoon to dismiss State Senator Chris McDaniel’s lawsuit challenging the results of the June 24 Republican primary, which he narrowly lost to incumbent Thad Cochran.
“The court is faced with the undisputed facts that Senator McDaniel filed his complaint with the State Republican Executive Committee 41 days after the date of the election. The law requires it be done in 20 days” said McGehee. “When you don’t meet that requirement, you are not entitled to come in the door of the court house – so to speak- with a lawsuit.”
McDaniel had claimed the runoff was not decided by republicans and that thousands of voters who cast ballots in the Democratic primary, voted again in the GOP runoff. Such cross over voting is against the law in Mississippi.
Cochran’s lawyers had argued Thursday that McDaniel waited too late to file his challenge.
McDaniel can appeal Friday’s ruling to the State Supreme Court; and if justices disagree with McGehee’s ruling, the case could be sent back for trial. McDaniel’s lawyers said McDaniel would consider his options over the weekend and announce a decision by Tuesday.
Lawyers for Cochran said after Friday’s ruling that it’s time for McDaniel to end his legal fight and allow the November general election to move forward.