Chris McDaniel is challenging Sen. Thad Cochran's win in Mississippi's Republican primary. / Kelly Price, Hattiesburg American
JACKSON, Miss. -- Judge Hollis McGehee on Friday approved U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's motion to dismiss Chris McDaniel's lawsuit over his loss of the GOP primary to Cochran.
McGehee agreed with Cochran's lawyers that a 1959 state Supreme Court ruling imposed a 20-day deadline for McDaniel to file his legal challenge of the June 24 primary runoff. McDaniel didn't file his challenge -- first with the state Republican Party -- until 41 days after the election.
"The law requires 20 days," McGehee said.
McDaniel lawyer Mitch Tyner said that McDaniel wants to mull things over the weekend before deciding whether to appeal McGehee's ruling. He said McDaniel will announce his decision at a press conference on Tuesday.
The appeal would go directly to the state Supreme Court, which would fast-track a decision, since the Nov. 4 general election looms.
McGehee, a retired chancellor specially appointed to hear the case, had set trial for Sept. 16 before he granted the motion to dismiss.
Cochran lawyer Mark Garriga said he hopes "this is the end, not just the beginning of the end," and urged McDaniel to end his challenge and let the general election move forward unfettered.
Ballots with six-term incumbent Cochran listed as the Republican nominee have already been approved. Former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers is the Democratic nominee and Shawn O'Hara is running for the Reform Party.
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