The Mississippi Republican Party said Wednesday that it would not hear state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s (R-MS) legal challenge to incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) because state law doesn’t allow sufficient time to consider the evidence, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported.
State GOP Chairman Joe Nosef suggested in a letter to McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner that the candidate move his challenge to the courts. Nosef explained that he would not be able to convene a meeting of the executive committee, citing a law that requires a petition for judicial review to be filed 10 days after a complaint reaches the state party’s executive committee.
McDaniel formally announced Monday that he would file the challenge with the executive committee. The deadline for the challenge, per state law, would then be Aug. 14.
“Therefore, if we sent notice of a meeting today (even before most committee members have even been able to receive all of the evidence), the earliest we could have a meeting would be Aug. 13, 2014,” he wrote in the letter, as quoted by the Clarion-Ledger.
Nosef went on to explain that a court challenge would be fairer to the McDaniel campaign.
“Obviously it is not possible for our committee of 52 volunteers to attempt to engage in such an exercise in a prudent manner in one day,” he wrote in the letter. “In fact, given the extraordinary relief requested of overturning a United States Senate primary in which over 360,000 Mississippians cast votes, the only way to ensure the integrity of the election process and provide a prudent review of this matter is in a court of law.”
Tyner, the McDaniel attorney, said that the state senator was “disappointed” to have his challenge declined by the state party executive committee.
“The party was the perfect venue in which to hear the challenge since it was responsible for the election, but we will move forward with a judicial review as provided for under Mississippi code,” he said in a statement, as quoted by the Clarion-Ledger.
Read Nosef’s letter to the Tyner below, via the Clarion-Ledger:
This post has been updated.