By Jesse Byrnes - 08/13/14 06:40 PM EDT
In his first interview since losing a runoff battle to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) said Tuesday that his lawyers think he has a “rock-solid” case to overturn the June 24 primary results.
“One thing I never wanted to do was be my own lawyer,” McDaniel, an attorney, told The Clarion-Ledger in an interview posted Wednesday.
McDaniel met with his lawyers on Tuesday to wrap up paperwork; they were reportedly going to file his legal challenge on Wednesday but held off until Thursday, the deadline.
“Once we exhaust our legal remedies, there would be little choice but to accept the will of the court at that point,” he said.
McDaniel pushed back on allegations his campaign was attempting challenge the runoff results in order to raise money for his failed campaign, adding his campaign had nearly $400,000 remaining after the runoff.
McDaniel said he hopes his experience spurs election reform and warned that conservatives in the state who are “angry, and rightly so” over the primary results will take it out on GOP state lawmakers next year.
“They are going to take that anger and try to turn it into something in 2015. Who knows where those energies will flow. I just know a lot of people are going to engage the system, and I think that's a good thing for the system,” he said.
McDaniel said he has not paid close attention to allegations involving Mississippi pastor Stevie Fielder, who told a conservative blogger that a Cochran staffer asked him to pay for votes. Fielder later said Noel Fritsch, a McDaniel campaign staffer, paid him to lie to the blogger.
Fritsch denies paying Fielder. State Attorney General Jim Hood is investigating, something McDaniel welcomes.
“That's a good thing. I hope as they begin to subpoena documents between Rev. Fielder and others they'll get to the bottom of this,” McDaniel said. “I'm glad we're seeing the wheels of justice move and subpoenas are out there.”
Since the runoff, McDaniel has apparently returned to his law firm, and also took a trip with his family to Disney World.