In a decision that surprised absolutely no one, the Mississippi Republican Party refused to hear State Senator Chris McDaniel’s challenge to the outcome of the June 24 runoff. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise either that the Mississippi GOP pleaded organizational incompetence as the reason for not hearing the challenge.
In a letter to McDaniel’s attorney, Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef said the Tea Party candidate should move his challenge to the courts, explaining that seven days notice has to be given before the executive committee can meet.
“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 August 13, 2014,” Nosef wrote.
The real reason, of course, is abject cowardice. The Mississippi GOP, after supporting the shameful and unmanly campaign conducted by Haley and Henry Barbour on behalf of the noticeably senile Thad Cochran, finds itself caught between the Scylla of the Barbour clan which owns the party and the Charybdis of torqued Mississippi conservatives who provide the donations and GOTV that lets the party win elections who remain appalled by the GOP’s conduct. Naturally, showing the courage the GOP leadership has exhibited during the entire primary campaign, they ran like scalded dogs from any action that would have required a modicum of courage.
The next step is for the McDaniel campaign to take the case to court:
Referring the issue to court also allows members of the GOP’s executive committee, many of whom have ties to Cochran, to avoid ruling on McDaniel’s challenge. McDaniel supporters have criticized Nosef and even called for his resignation, saying he has favored Cochran despite his claim of neutrality.
McDaniel could file suit in any county where he feels illegal voting occurred. The state Supreme Court will then appoint a special judge to hear the challenge.
There’s no deadline to challenge in Mississippi, but state law urges judges to decide primary challenges before general election ballots are printed. State law says sample ballots must be given to local election officials by Sept. 10, which is 55 days before the Nov. 4 general election. That squeezes the timeline for a lawsuit and a new primary runoff. State law says a court could order a new primary even after the general election.
While the odds that a Mississippi judge will rule against the state’s power structure, McDaniel to to be applauded for no accepting the fraudulent outcome of a disgraceful campaign of vote buying and race baiting carried out by the Cochran campaign and its puppetmasters.