A Mississippi judge has dismissed state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s (R) legal challenge seeking to overturn Sen. Thad CochranThad CochranOvernight Defense: FBI chief confirms Trump campaign, Russia probe | Senators push for Afghan visas | Problems persist at veterans' suicide hotline Senators ask to include visas for Afghans in spending bill Shutdown politics return to the Senate MORE’s (R) June primary win.
Cochran’s legal team successfully argued that McDaniel’s challenge should have started within 20 days of the election, citing a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling.
But McDaniel waited more than a month to challenge Cochran’s win, citing alleged voting irregularities in the runoff election and improper votes from Democrats who had already voted in their party's primary. The McDaniel campaign planned to prove the charges at a trial next month.
Attorneys for the campaign said they would announce next week whether they would appeal the judge’s decision to the state Supreme Court.
The Tea Party-backed McDaniel had been conservatives’ best shot to oust an incumbent senator this cycle, but he fell short by 7,667 votes in the runoff despite coming in first in the primary three weeks earlier.
If McDaniel had won the nomination, Democrats had planned to contest the seat, but with Cochran as the nominee, the seat is safe this fall.