BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - In an exclusive interview, state Senator Chris McDaniel spoke with WLOX News Thursday about why he refuses to concede the GOP primary runoff election to Senator Thad Cochran. McDaniel said he has proof that, "This was not a fair election. Activity was illegal, at worst. Unethical, at best."
"Republicans are supposed to chose the Republican nominee in the US Senate. That's not what happened here. Thirty-five to 40,000 democrats jumped into this race and apparently tried to decide it. They have their own primary. We have ours. What we're looking for right now is irregularities. We already found hundreds, and we're going to keep looking."
McDaniel said those irregularities include Mississippians who first voted in the Democratic primary, then illegally crossed over to vote in the Republican runoff election.
He said, "Integrity of elections matters. It always has mattered." And that's why he plans to use every legal maneuver at his disposal to fight the results of the runoff.
McDaniel also said Cochran's team should be ashamed by the tactics used to turn out democratic voters.
"They called me a racist. They used race-baiting tactics. They scared people to the polls. That's no way to behave. They used people, and that's no way to behave."
Although he said he has "no hard feelings" toward Republican leaders in Mississippi, he was still shocked at how things changed as soon as he announced his candidacy.
"I never thought that me, as a two-term republican elected official, would be treated the way I was. It was character assassination. They [fellow Republicans] attacked me every chance they got. They ridiculed me. They mocked me. And that was an about-face from the way they treated me just prior to my primary challenge."
This race has put Mississippi in the national spotlight for weeks. McDaniel believes there's a good reason for that.
"I think it's generated national attention because conservatives around this country need a voice. They need someone to say enough is enough," he said. "Think about the way the race has been conducted: Shenanigans. Name calling. Character assassination. No discussion of the issues, because Senator Cochran avoided the issues. What conservatives demand is we want consistency, we want fighters, we want people of courage to defend the Constitution, defend balanced budgets, and defend traditional values. That's all we're asking for."
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