McDaniel aide, others trapped in courthouse

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A top aide to state Sen. Chris McDaniel is under investigation along with two others as to why they were locked in a Mississippi county courthouse hours after ballots were counted in a fierce Senate GOP primary on Wednesday morning.

Hinds County Sheriff's Department is trying to figure out how McDaniel’s campaign coalition director Scott Brewster, Central Mississippi Tea Party board member Janis Lane and consultant Rob Chambers gained access into the building, where they stayed until a police officer arrived at 3:45 a.m., spokesman Othor Cain said.

The McDaniel campaign told the The Clarion-Ledger that staffers entered the courthouse through an open building to observe ballot counts, until they were locked inside, and a close Cochran ally was called for assistance.

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"There are conflicting stories from the three of them, which began to raise the red flag, and we're trying to get to the bottom of it," Cain said, according to The Clarion-Ledger. "No official charges have been filed at this point, but we don't know where the investigation will lead us."

Brewster's name appeared in headlines last month after a political blogger and McDaniel supporter was arrested for sneaking into the nursing home of Cochran's wife and taking photos for a political hit video. While McDaniel's team denied involvement in the photo scandal, Brewster said he was aware of the video that contained the photo of Cochran's wife.

On Tuesday evening, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and his challenger McDaniel secured a June 24 Senate runoff for the GOP nomination, following a nasty primary race.

Neither candidate topped the 50 percent vote threshold needed to win the nomination outright, with both getting 49 percent of the vote.