Archived Story

McDaniel should show proof, or quit

Published 12:05am Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Uncle, uncle, uncle. Challenger Chris McDaniel says he’ll formally announce today whether he’ll challenge his loss to incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary runoff election.

His decision cannot come soon enough.

McDaniel either needs to contest the election or go home.

Regardless of what he decides, clearly, most Mississippians hope the mess will be over soon.

It’s almost reached comical depths at this point. Day by arduous day, the two sides — Tea Party backed McDaniel vs. the GOP establishment — exchange barbs.

McDaniel’s camp throws out a number of votes it says were improper. Republican Party officials fire back with a much lower number.

It’s a bit like watching another person’s family squabbles. Unless you’re on the inside or know the fighters, looking away may be the best answer.

McDaniel’s premise is that Cochran’s campaign — or the Republican establishment — lured Democrats who voted in the Democratic primary to come back and vote in Republican runoff. Doing so would be against state law. It’s called crossover voting.

Convictions for doing it are about as rare as ones for jaywalking.

The turnout increased by more than 63,000 votes from the initial primary and the runoff election.

Cochran won by only 7,667 votes, opening up hope among McDaniel supporters that enough improper votes could be found to overturn the election.

If they have evidence, let’s put it under the examination lights of a courtroom. This saga has lingered on far too long.