Judge alters time for McDaniel trial

news_icon_greenBy Bobby Harrison

Daily Journal Jackson Bureau

JACKSON – Special Judge Hollis McGehee has pushed back by one day to Sept. 16 the start of the trial where Chris McDaniel is challenging the results of the June 24 Republican primary runoff he lost to six-term incumbent Thad Cochran.

McGehee, in changing the start of the trial, also said in his order entered Friday that the trial would end by Oct. 6. On Thursday he had set Sept. 15 as the trial date and said it would end by Oct. 3.

The judge, a retired chancellor who now lives in Lucedale and was appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court to hear the case, said the trial would be held at the Jones County Courthouse in Laurel.

McDaniel was defeated in the June 24 runoff by 7,667 votes out of the 392,197 cast statewide.

McDaniel is asking that he be declared the winner of the runoff or that the judge order a new primary election. He claims that his campaign has found about 15,000 questionable ballots statewide.

The Cochran campaign has said any irregularities that occurred in the primary runoff were minor and did not impact the outcome of the election.

McDaniel chose to file the legal challenge in his home county of Jones. His law office is near the courthouse in Laurel. The judge said his research indicates it’s the first challenge of a statewide election in Mississippi history.

bobby.harrison@journalinc.com