Chris McDaniel

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chris McDaniel
Chris McDaniel.jpg
Mississippi State Senate, District 42
In office
2008 - present
Term ends
January 3, 2016
Years in position 7
Base salary$10,000/year
Per diem$123/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 8, 2011
First electedNovember 6, 2007
Next generalNovember 3, 2015
Term limitsN/A
J.D.University of Mississippi School of Law
Date of birthJune 28, 1971
Place of birthLaurel, Mississippi
Office website
Campaign website
Chris McDaniel (b. June 28, 1971) is a Republican member of the Mississippi State Senate, representing District 42. He was first elected to the chamber in 2007.

McDaniel was also a 2014 Republican candidate who sought election to the U.S. Senate from Mississippi.[1] He lost to incumbent Thad Cochran in the Republican primary runoff on June 24, 2014, but did not concede defeat.[2][3] On August 14, 2014, McDaniel filed a lawsuit against Cochran, accusing him of encouraging voter fraud in the runoff.[4]


McDaniel attended Jones County Junior College and William Carey University, and earned his J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

As of the close of the 2014 session, every piece of legislation written by McDaniel had died in committee.[5]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, McDaniel served on the following committees:

Mississippi Committee Assignments, 2015
Elections, Chair
Congressional Redistricting, Vice Chair
Judiciary, Division B, Vice Chair
Compilation, Revision and Publication
Drug Policy
Legislative Reapportionment
Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks


In the 2012-2013 legislative session, McDaniel served on the following committees:


In the 2010-2011 legislative session, McDaniel served on these committees:

Election challenge 2014

See also: Legal challenges to the U.S. Senate race in Mississippi

Mississippi's 2014 U.S. Senate election gained nation-wide media attention when accusations of voter fraud in the Republican runoff primary between McDaniel and incumbent Thad Cochran created hostilities within the GOP, eventually leading to two separate legal challenges.

  1. True the Vote filed a lawsuit against the Mississippi Secretary of State and the Republican Party of Mississippi, arguing that they were denied access to voting records that should have been released based on the National Voter Registration Act Of 1993 (NVRA).
  2. McDaniel filed a lawsuit against incumbent Thad Cochran, stating that Cochran solicited Democratic votes, many of which violated Mississippi election law.

Timeline of events

  • June 3, 2014: McDaniel and Cochran competed for the Republican nomination in Mississippi's primary election. McDaniel won 157,733 votes to Cochran's 156,315, but McDaniel did not obtain the 50 percent of votes necessary to avoid a runoff election.[6]
  • June 24, 2014: Cochran defeated McDaniel in the runoff primary, with 194,932 votes to McDaniel's 187,265.[7]
  • July 1, 2014: True the Vote sued the Republican Party of Mississippi and the Mississippi Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, for failing to release the voting records necessary for an investigation of voter fraud in the Cochran vs. McDaniel runoff. The lawsuit argued that the records should have been released under the National Voter Registration Act Of 1993 (NVRA).[8]
  • July 3, 2014: McDaniel notified Cochran of his plans to challenge the primary runoff results due to illegitimate crossover votes from people who had voted in the Democratic primary and the Republican runoff.[9]
  • July 8, 2014: True the Vote withdrew their lawsuit without prejudice.[10]
  • July 9, 2014: True the Vote refiled their lawsuit in Jackson, in the Southern District, adding election commissions in Copiah, Hinds, Jefferson Davis, Lauderdale, Leake, Madison, Rankin, Simpson and Yazoo counties to the list of defendants.[11]
  • July 24, 2014: Judge Nancy Atlas presided over a hearing for True the Vote's lawsuit, but did not make a ruling on the case.[12]
  • August 4, 2014: McDaniel confirmed at a news conference that he would challenge the runoff results by calling for a public hearing of the Mississippi GOP’s central committee.[13]
  • August 6, 2014: In a letter to McDaniel's attorney, Joe Nosef, chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party, refused to hear McDaniel's case in a GOP hearing due to the short amount of time they would have to make a decision. He suggested instead that McDaniel take the case to court.[14]
  • August 14, 2014: McDaniel formally filed a legal challenge in Jones County, asking to delay adding Cochran's name to the general election ballot and calling for a new primary runoff.[15]
  • August 15, 2014: The chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court appointed retired chancery judge, Hollis McGehee, to oversee McDaniel's case.[16]
  • August 20, 2014: Judge McGehee refused to grant McDaniel's request to prevent Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann from preparing the ballots with Cochran's name, on the grounds that McDaniel did not sue Hosemann.[17]
  • August 21, 2014: Cochran's attorneys filed papers asking that the lawsuit be dismissed because McDaniel filed it too late. The papers also stated that McDaniel should not have sued Cochran, as he had no control over the election process.[17]
  • August 25, 2014: McDaniel's legal team submitted a response to Cochran's motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The response argued that challenges to a state-wide primary election do not have to be filed within a certain time frame following the election.[18]
  • August 29, 2014: Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed the election challenge. The McDaniel campaign scheduled a news conference for September 2, at which McDaniel planned to announce whether or not he would file an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court.[19] McDaniel later pushed back the news conference, needing more time to make the decision.[20]
  • August 29, 2014: Judge Nancy Atlas ruled against True the Vote's lawsuit, stating that the requested voter information was not required to be disclosed under the National Voter Registration Act Of 1993 (NVRA).[21]
  • September 24, 2014: Cochran filed papers with the state Supreme Court asking that McDaniel's lawsuit be dismissed, as it had been in the Jones County circuit court.[24]
  • October 24, 2014: The state Supreme Court ruled to uphold the decision of the Jones County circuit court to dismiss McDaniel's lawsuit against Cochran. Four justices concurred with the decision, while two dissented and three did not participate. The two dissenting were Justices Josiah Coleman and Ann Lamar.[25]

Republican response


  • Conservative columnist Ann Coulter called on McDaniel supporters to "get over Cochran." She explained, "When a U.S. president is using the IRS to terrify his political enemies, destroying American health care and opening our southern border to millions of future welfare-collecting, Democratic voters from the Third World, why is a dime's worth of money being wasted on trying to replace the Republican senator from Mississippi with a slightly different Republican?"[26]
  • Former Club for Growth President Chris Chocola stated, "If there’s clearly evidence of wrongdoing, that there were ballot integrity issues I suppose it would be appropriate for him to pursue those, but it would have to be clear. I don’t know that they’re clear at this point.”[28]
  • Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, who was among those being sued by True the Vote, praised Judge Atlas' ruling against True the Vote, stating, "In the political pandemonium of the last several months, our voters should be encouraged Mississippi’s laws protecting privacy were not preempted by Federal law or the U.S. Constitution."[29]


  • Former Alaska governor and U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin posted on Facebook that she supported an investigation of voter fraud in the runoff. She wrote, "I told Chris McDaniel last night that I stand with his effort to get to the bottom of this – he needs to know average, but tremendously concerned, citizens want to make sure the integrity of last night’s results in Mississippi are verified."[30]

Democratic response

  • Travis Childers, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Mississippi and Thad Cochran's general election challenger, congratulated Cochran on getting McDaniel's lawsuit dismissed. Childers stated, "I congratulate Senator Cochran on his win today in court. The allegations of the past couple months have raised serious questions about the electoral process, and I strongly believe we must ensure that every vote in Mississippi counts."[31]


Voting in Democratic primary

After losing a highly competitive runoff primary to incumbent Thad Cochran in 2014, McDaniel challenged the results by saying that a large percentage of Cochran's voters were Democrats who had illegally voted in the Republican runoff after voting in the Democratic primary. However, shortly after the runoff, the Clarion-Ledger announced that they had found records of McDaniel voting for a Democratic candidate in Mississippi's 2003 state primary. Although McDaniel denied having done so at first, his spokesman later stated, "Over a decade ago, Chris McDaniel voted in a Democratic primary in order to have a choice in local competitive elections."[32]



See also: Mississippi State Senate elections, 2015

Elections for the office of Mississippi State Senate will take place in 2015. A primary election will be held on August 4, 2015, and the general election November 3, 2015. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was February 27, 2015.[33]


See also: United States Senate elections in Mississippi, 2014

McDaniel ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Mississippi.[1] McDaniel sought the Republican nomination in the primary on June 3, 2014, which resulted in a runoff on June 24, 2014. McDaniel lost in the runoff to incumbent Thad Cochran, but did not concede. On August 14, 2014, McDaniel filed a legal challenge against Cochran, stating that he had enough evidence of voter fraud to invalidate the runoff primary results.[15]

U.S. Senate, Mississippi Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngChris McDaniel 49.5% 157,733
Green check mark transparent.pngThad Cochran Incumbent 49% 156,315
Thomas Carey 1.5% 4,854
Total Votes 318,902
Source: Mississippi Secretary of State - Official Republican primary results
U.S. Senate, Mississippi Runoff Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngThad Cochran Incumbent 51% 194,932
Chris McDaniel 49% 187,265
Total Votes 382,197
Source: Mississippi Secretary of State - Official Republican runoff primary results

Photos of Cochran's wife

Clayton Thomas Kelly, who ran a blog and openly supported McDaniel over incumbent Thad Cochran, was arrested on May 16, 2014, for sneaking into St. Catherine's Village, a nursing home, and taking unauthorized photographs of Cochran's bedridden wife in order to post them in an internet video attacking Cochran. He was arrested for exploitation of a vulnerable adult.[34] McDaniel's campaign denied any involvement with Kelly or the video, and McDaniel issued a statement criticizing Kelly's actions and reaching out to Cochran.[35]

Ads regarding photo scandal

  • After a McDaniel supporter took photos of Thad Cochran's wife in a recent scandal, Cochran came out with a new campaign ad attacking McDaniel.[36] McDaniel, however, denied any involvement or knowledge of the photos, and retaliated with his own ad.[37]

Cochran ad attacking McDaniel

McDaniel ad in response to Cochran's attack ad


McDaniel received the following endorsements for his 2014 bid:


  • McDaniel received negative media attention from the Mississippi Conservatives PAC. According to the PAC, McDaniel was hypocritical and tried to take both sides on many issues, including tort reform, Common Core and earmarks.[51]
  • In his first campaign ad of the election, McDaniel stated his position on a few issues, highlighting his support for prayer in public schools and second amendment rights.[52]
  • McDaniel released another campaign ad in May 2014, this time attacking his opponent in the Republican primary, Thad Cochran.[53]
  • Citizens United Political Victory Fund (CUPVF) released an ad on May 21, 2014, attacking Cochran and supporting McDaniel.[54]
  • In an ad similar to one put out by Citizens United, the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund released a campaign ad attacking Cochran and praising McDaniel.[55]
  • The Mississippi Conservatives PAC released an ad attacking McDaniel for voting in the Democratic primary.[56]

The Mississippi Conservatives PAC labels McDaniel a hypocrite.

McDaniel's first 2014 campaign ad

McDaniel campaign ad attacking Thad Cochran

Citizens United ad in favor of McDaniel

Tea Party Patriots ad in favor of McDaniel

Mississippi Conservatives PAC ad attacking McDaniel


See also: Mississippi State Senate elections, 2011

McDaniel won re-election to the Mississippi Senate District 42. He ran unopposed in the primary on August 2, 2011. No candidates ran in the Democratic primary. McDaniel won the general election on November 8, 2011, unopposed.[57]


See also: Mississippi State Senate elections, 2007

On November 6, 2007, Chris McDaniel ran for District 42 of the Mississippi State Senate, beating Martin Beech.[58]

Chris McDaniel raised $104,829 for his campaign.[59]

Mississippi Senate, District 42
Candidates Votes Percent
Chris McDaniel (R) 10,261 60.9%
Martin Beech (D) 6,596 39.1%

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are McDaniel's reports.[60]

Chris McDaniel (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year-End[61]March 18, 2014$0.00$487,802.00$(172,412.37)$315,389.63
April Quarterly[62]April 15, 2014$315,389.63$474,584.72$(323,789.16)$466,165.19
Running totals


In 2011, McDaniel received $90,298 in campaign donations. The top contributors are listed below.[63]

Mississippi State Senate 2011 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Chris McDaniel's campaign in 2011
Mcdaniel, Christopher$10,000
Mcdaniel, Aleta$3,000
Herrington, Ronnie$2,800
Harrington, Ronnie$2,800
Blackstone Corp$2,000
Total Raised in 2011 $90,298
Total Votes received in 2011 17,590
Cost of each vote received $5.13


In 2009, McDaniel collected $10,200 in donations.[64]

His two largest contributors in 2009 were:

Donor Amount
Chris McDaniel $5,250
MD Eye Political Action $1,000


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Mississippi

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Mississippi scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 7 through April 2.[65]

Legislators are scored on "economic growth, jobs and other broad job-related issues."[66]


McDaniel and his wife, Jill, have one child.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Chris + McDaniel + Mississippi + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Chris McDaniel News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gulf, "State Sen. Chris McDaniel announces run for U.S. Senate in 2014," accessed October 18, 2013
  2. The Washington Post, "Cochran and McDaniel officially headed to Mississippi runoff," accessed June 4, 2014
  3. Mississippi Secretary of State, "Republican Primary Runoff Results," accessed August 21, 2014
  4. The Huffington Post, "Chris McDaniel Lawsuit Challenges Loss To Thad Cochran," accessed August 21, 2014
  5. Mississippi Legislature, 2014 Regular Session, "Senator Chris McDaniel, District 42," accessed August 25, 2014
  6. Mississippi Secretary of State, "2014 Republican Primary Results," accessed July 10, 2014
  7. Mississippi Secretary of State, "2014 Republican Primary Runoff Results," accessed July 10, 2014
  8. Brenner Brief, "True the Vote v. Mississippi Complaint," accessed July 10, 2014
  9. CNN, "McDaniel plans to challenge Mississippi runoff result," accessed July 10, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Clarion Ledger, "True the Vote drops lawsuit, likely to refile in Jackson," accessed July 10, 2014
  11. Scribd, "True the Vote v. Mississippi Complaint," accessed July 10, 2014
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named now
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pol
  14. Jackson Free Press, "MS GOP Response to McDaniel: Er ... Try Court?," accessed August 21, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 The Washington Times, "Chris McDaniel files a legal challenge to Thad Cochran’s Mississippi victory," accessed August 21, 2014
  16. The Sun Herald, "Retired judge to oversee Miss. election challenge," accessed August 21, 2014 (dead link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Hattiesburg American, "Cochran: Lawsuit should be dismissed," accessed August 25, 2014
  18. The Clarion-Ledger, "McDaniel says he didn't wait too late to file lawsuit," accessed August 28, 2014
  19. WLOX13, "Judge dismisses McDaniel election challenge," August 29, 2014
  20. Gulf Live, "Chris McDaniel pushes back announcement on status of election lawsuit until Wednesday," accessed September 3, 2014
  21. Hattiesburg American, "US judge: Voters' birthdates are not public record," accessed September 3, 2014
  22. CNN Politics, "Chris McDaniel takes primary fight with Thad Cochran to Mississippi high court," accessed September 9, 2014
  23. The Clarion-Ledger, "McDaniel lawyer confident with appeal," accessed September 9, 2014
  24. Mississippi Business Journal, "Cochran’s legal counsel asks Court to toss McDaniel’s lawsuit," accessed September 30, 2014
  25. The Clarion-Ledger, "State Supreme Court rejects McDaniel appeal," accessed November 12, 2014
  26. The Clarion-Ledger, "Coulter: McDaniel supporters need to get over Cochran," accessed August 21, 2014
  27. WLOX 13, "Hosemann calls McDaniel lawsuit a 'distraction'," accessed August 21, 2014
  28. The Wall Street Journal, "Club for Growth President: McDaniel Needs ‘Clear’ Evidence in Mississippi," accessed August 21, 2014
  29. Y'all Politics, "Hosemann statement on True the Vote decision," accessed September 3, 2014
  30. Talking Points Memo, "Palin: Mississippi Runoff Should Be Investigated For Illegal Voting," accessed August 21, 2014
  31. Jackson Free Press, "Childers Responds to McDaniel Lawsuit Dismissal," accessed September 3, 2014
  32. Talking Points Memo, "Mississippi Tea Party Challenger Voted As A Democrat In 2003," accessed July 3, 2014
  33. Mississippi Secretary of State, "2015 Elections Calendar," accessed December 2, 2014
  34. The Clarion-Ledger, "Man arrested for sneaking into Cochran's wife's nursing home," accessed May 20, 2014
  35. Chris McDaniel for U.S. Senate, "McDaniel Campaign Statements Regarding the Arrest of Clayton Kelly," accessed May 28, 2014
  36. YouTube, "Thad attack ad," accessed May 28, 2014
  37. YouTube, "McDaniel addresses negative, shameless attack ads," accessed May 28, 2014
  38. Washington Times, "Club for Growth endorses Sen. Thad Cochran's likely GOP primary challenger," accessed October 18, 2013
  39. Campaign website, "TEA PARTY EXPRESS ENDORSES CHRIS MCDANIEL FOR U.S. SENATE," accessed November 6, 2013
  40. FreedomWorks for America, "Chris McDaniel," accessed May 28, 2014
  41. The Washington Post, "Conservative group launches early ad for Sen. Cochran’s primary foe," accessed November 13, 2013
  42. Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, "Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Endorses Chris McDaniel for United States Senate," accessed May 28, 2014
  43. Chris McDaniel for U.S. Senate, "Gun Owners of America Endorses McDaniel for U.S. Senate," accessed May 28, 2014
  44. Breitbart, "Sarah Palin Endorses Chris McDaniel for Senate in Mississippi," accessed May 28, 2014
  45. PR Newswire, "Bauer Endorses McDaniel For Senate," accessed May 28, 2014
  46. Eagle Forum, "Schlafly Endorses McDaniel in Mississippi U.S. Senate Primary," accessed May 28, 2014
  47. Madison Project, "Madison Project PAC Endorses Chris McDaniel for Senate in Mississippi," accessed May 28, 2014
  48. Coalition to Reduce Spending, "Chris McDaniel Rejects the Debt in MS," accessed May 28, 2014
  49. Y'all Politics, "YAL, Liberty Action Fund Endorses Chris McDaniel," accessed May 28, 2014
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 50.4 50.5 Chris McDaniel for U.S. Senate, "Ron Paul Endorses Chris McDaniel for U.S. Senate," accessed June 10, 2014
  51. YouTube, "Chris McDaniel - "Both Sides" - Earmarks," accessed April 4, 2014
  52. The Hill, "Cochran's Tea Party foe launches first ad," accessed April 23, 2014
  53. YouTube, "Lost Touch," accessed May 16, 2014
  54. YouTube, "CUPVF: Changing Washington," accessed May 28, 2014
  55. YouTube, "What Happened to Thad?," accessed May 28, 2014
  56. YouTube, "Trial Lawyer Chris McDaniel Voted as a Democrat," accessed May 28, 2014
  57. Mississippi Department of State, "2011 Official State Senate Candidate List," accessed April 2, 2015
  58. Mississippi State Senate official election results for 2007
  59. Follow the Money's report on McDaniel's 2007 campaign contributions
  60. Federal Election Commission, "Chris McDaniel Summary Report," accessed April 28, 2014
  61. Federal Election Commission, "Chris McDaniel Year-End," accessed April 28, 2014
  62. Federal Election Commission, "Chris McDaniel April Quarterly," accessed April 28, 2014
  63. Follow the Money, "2011 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 15, 2014
  64. Follow the Money, "2009 Contributors to Chris McDaniel," accessed August 25, 2014
  65. StateScape, "Session Schedules," accessed July 29, 2014
  66. Business and Industry Political Education Committee, "Legislator 'Business & Jobs' Report Card - 2014 Legislative Session," accessed August 30, 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Mississippi State Senate District 42
Succeeded by