Jenny Beth Martin, chair of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, is calling on Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus to intervene in the Mississippi Senate race over incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran’s reliance on Democratic voters to prevail in the GOP runoff and amid emerging claims of illegitimate ballots.
“No one disputes that Thad Cochran’s vote total Tuesday was the result of crossover votes cast by Democrats — in fact, Establishment Republicans and their operatives are bragging publicly about their ‘brilliant’ strategy,” Martin said in a statement provided exclusively to Breitbart News.
“But the necessary logical flip side of that is that Chris McDaniel won more votes from actual Republicans than did Cochran. Thus, only a fool would dispute that McDaniel is the clear choice of Republicans in MS. He is, by all rights, the Republican nominee, regardless of what state law states. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus should address this. As Chairman of the national party, he has overall responsibility for the selection of GOP nominees across the country.”
During the campaign, Priebus stayed out of the race except to say in a television interview that the winner of the primary would easily prevail in the general election, which was a political boost to state senator Chris McDaniel at the time.
Under the bylaws of the RNC, the committee cannot provide financial or “in kind” support to a primary candidate unless three-fourths of its members agree to do so.
Thursday, Scottie Nell Hughes of the Tea Party News Network also called on Priebus to intervene in a lengthy blog post.
Hughes cited “Chicago-style politics and voter intimidation at voting precincts” across Mississippi, and wrote that the GOP establishment’s tactics may have opened “Pandora’s box.”
Hughes said the GOP is broken and needs a new leader–a modern-day Ronald Reagan–to emerge, but “in the meantime” she argues “it should be the job of the RNC, led by Chairman Reince Priebus and the committeemen and women, to quickly bring order back to the chaos which has now been allowed to emerge within our Party.”
“They need to publicly express their official disapproval of recruiting Democrat voters to manipulate a Republican primary,” Hughes wrote.
Martin noted that Henry Barbour, nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour who operated a super PAC that supported Cochran is an RNC member and suggested his membership may dissuade Priebus from intervening.
Henry Barbour “hired at least two known Democrat operatives to turn out tens of thousands of Democrats to invade the GOP runoff,” Martin said.
“Priebus should start by taking steps to have Henry Barbour removed from his position as National Committeeman from MS. How can an operative who hired Democrats to turn out Democrat votes in a GOP nominating contest be considered a member in good standing of the party’s national committee?” Martin said.
An RNC spokesman declined to comment on the record about the matter.