By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Birmingham area engineer, Shaun McCutcheon, is nationally known for his recent victory before the Supreme Court of the United States, where he successfully challenged limits on an individual’s political giving as unconstitutional limits on political speech.
McCutcheon is now deeply involved in Mississippi State Senator Chris McDaniel’s lawsuit challenging the outcome of the recent Republican Primary Runoff in Mississippi.
McCutcheon wrote on Wednesday, July 16, “I filed an official complaint against Thad Cochran’s illegitimate victory in the Mississippi Senate runoff. We are on the front lines fighting to right this grave injustice and ensure that Chris McDaniel – the candidate with the most Republican votes in the run-off – is the Republican nominee!…This official complaint – which clearly lays out the legal remedy of ordering a new election – is a major step forward, but we cannot rest until Cochran’s illegitimate victory is thrown out and a new, fair election is held. Now, we need to put as much pressure on the Mississippi Secretary of State to ensure Chris McDaniel has the opportunity to defeat Thad Cochran in a FAIR election.”
U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, (R) from Mississippi, has spent decades in Washington representing Alabama’s neighbor to the west and is seeking a sixth term in the Senate. He, like Alabama’s own Senator Richard Shelby, was a member of the House of Representatives before that.
Many Tea Party conservatives have questioned if the 76 year old Cochran was conservative enough to continue to represent them. Instead they supported the challenge of 42 year old State Senator Chris McDaniel. McDaniel won the most votes in the June 3 Republican Primary and almost won the primary outright. In the runoff however, Cochran’s campaign appealed to historically Democratic voters, including Unions and Blacks.
Democrats can vote in the Republican Primary Runoff because Mississippi, like Alabama, uses the open primary. Some of the pro-Cochran campaign material distributed in Black neighborhoods alleged that McDaniel was a racist. Cochran defeated McDaniel by more than 7,000 votes. McDaniel supporters contend that more than 7,000 of those Cochran voters also voted in the Democratic Primary. In Mississippi, unlike in the Alabama GOP, it is illegal for a voter to vote in the Primary and the crossover and vote in the Primary runoff. McCutcheon and McDaniel are asking for another runoff election.
Republican author and commentator Ann Coulter, among others, has called McDaniel a sore loser and has urged him to concede and drop his challenge to the vote’s results which has been certified by the Mississippi Republican Party.
The controversy surrounding the Mississippi election has resulted in renewed calls for party registration and closed primaries in Alabama, a move that has the support of the Alabama Republican Executive Committee, but quickly stalled in the Republican controlled Alabama legislature.