Mississippi GOP won't hear McDaniel runoff election challenge

Chris McDaniel campaign officials said Wednesday they will continue to contest Mississippi's Senate Republican primary election after the state's GOP said it won't hear the Tea Party-backed candidate's challenge.

The party's decision almost certainly means that the McDaniel campaign will file a challenge in circuit court.

McDaniel, who lost a June runoff election to longtime Sen. Thad Cochran, formally challenged the election results on Monday, alleging widespread problems with the vote.

But Joe Nosef, the chairman of the state's GOP, said Wednesday that the organization is incapable of reviewing the election.

"It is neither prudent nor possible in a single day for any political committee to process and review the significant amount of complex evidence necessary to make such a decision, and attempting to do so would be prejudicial to both candidates," Nosef said in a statement.

Mitch Tyner, the lead attorney for the McDaniel campaign, said the candidate was "very disappointed" by the party's decision.

Mississippi voters don't register by party, but state law makes so-called crossover voting -- casting a ballot in one party's primary and another party's runoff in the same cycle -- a misdemeanor. Tyner said the McDaniel campaign had found 3,500 instances of crossover votes, along with the 9,500 "irregular votes" and 2,275 "improperly cast" absentee ballots. It was not immediately clear what made the votes irregular, or how the absentee ballots may have been improperly cast.

Certified results show Cochran won by 7,667 votes, or 51 percent.

McDaniel claimed that Cochran's team got more than 40,000 Democrats to vote in the GOP primary, but "in so doing, mistakes were made." Some, he claimed, were "intentional."

"They asked us to put up or shut up, and here we are with the evidence," McDaniel said following the vote.

McDaniel has called the June 24 runoff a "sham" and criticized Cochran for seeking votes from "liberal Democrats." Cochran said there's nothing wrong with seeking support from Democrats and independents, saying it's something he's done for decades.

Fox News' John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.