The Hinds County Sheriff’s Department is denying that it let three supporters of state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-MS), including a top official for McDaniel’s campaign, into the Hinds County Courthouse late Tuesday night — disputing the campaign’s version of events which said they were directed inside by “uniformed personnel.”
“It’s a fabrication that someone pointed them to a door,” Hinds County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Othor Cain told the Clarion-Ledger. “I think that’s a total misrepresentation of fact. None of our guys let anybody in.”
The McDaniel campaign refused to comment on the Hinds County Sheriff’s office’s latest statement.
The back-and-forth is in response the news on Wednesday that Central Mississippi Tea Party President Janis Lane, McDaniel Coalitions Director Scott Brewster and Rob Chambers, a consultant with the Christian Action Commission, went into the courthouse, where primary ballots were kept, late on Tuesday night.
The McDaniel campaign said they were sent there by the campaign to observe the ballot counting process and “obtain the outstanding numbers.” The supporters said they were accidentally locked inside.
The Hinds County Courthouse, located in a district that overwhelmingly went for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), who McDaniel is challenging, on Tuesday’s Republican primary.
Law enforcement officials are currently investigating how the McDaniel supporters got into the courthouse. Cain said the trio’s version of events “changed within five minutes.”
TPM also reached out the Jackson Police Department which said the Hinds County Courthouse is the jurisdiction of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office.
This post was updated.