McDaniel camp still promises challenge

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel's (R) lawyers are promising a legal challenge to Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-Miss.) primary win but still failed to produce evidence in a Wednesday press conference. 

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McDaniel and his allies have been arguing that last month's runoff election was tainted by illegal crossover votes from Democrats who'd voted in the Democratic primary, saying there are thousands of questionable ballots that could overturn the 7,667 vote margin. 

"We expect to file a challenge within the next 10 days," McDaniel attorney Mitch Tyner said, claiming that there is "already enough evidence" to move forward with a challenge.

While McDaniel wasn't at the press conference, he does plan on going on a three-day "truth and justice tour" through the state later this week. 

Still, his campaign has been saying for weeks it had strong evidence of illegal votes, but has so far failed to produce any evidence there were any widespread problems with the runoff. Tyner said he would provide a complete accounting of the complaint when the challenge is eventually filed.

Tyner accused Cochran's campaign of "race-baiting" when they reached out to African-American Democratic voters to support his campaign. That push has been credited for helping Cochran pull out his narrow runoff victory. 

"The Cochran campaign through their race-baiting took us back 50 years," he said.

Cochran's allies fired back.

"Mitch Tyner just made @senatormcdaniel a liar. McDaniel promised he'd show evidence and numbers today. He didn't. He lied," Cochran adviser Stuart Stevens tweeted.

Stevens also attacked Tyner's accusations that Cochran's campaign had race-baited.

"Let's be clear: @senatormcdaniel played race card early and often and Mississippians know it. One of the reasons he lost," he said.

Many Republicans who remained neutral in the primary have been calling on McDaniel to admit defeat, and even some of McDaniel's allies have suggested that he throw in the towel. 

Tyner said he was "proud" of McDaniel for refusing to quit despite political fallout.

"Everybody knows that he could have conceded and written his ticket for any office next year. But Chris McDaniel said, 'No, I want to root out the problems. I want integrity in this process, and if it destroys my political career, so be it,' " Tyner said.