Late on Thursday, September 4, Judge McGehee entered a final judgement granting Sen. Thad Cochran’s motion to dismiss.
“A simple reading of the election statute, giving Senator McDaniel authority to present his challenge, clearly indicates that this case should be heard on the merits,” said Mitch Tyner, McDaniel’s lead attorney. “When the facts are finally heard in a court of law, we believe either the outcome of the election will be overturned, or the Judge will order a new election,” he said.
“We disagree with Judge McGehee’s ruling on the timing of our filing. When the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Barbour v. Gunn, they clearly indicated that Speaker Gunn had authority under 23-15-923 to file his challenge,” said Tyner.
“There existed no ambiguity in 23-15-923 that warranted the Supreme Court to look outside the statute as it is written when they considered Speaker Gunn’s authority to challenge his election. McDaniel used the exact same statute for his authority in filing his challenge. The old Kellum opinion, on which Judge McGehee relied, was based on a now repealed statute that no longer applies as evidenced by the Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision in Barbour v. Gunn. It would be a double standard to apply a different rule for Senator McDaniel’s challenge,” Tyner concluded.