We’re just five days away from Mississippi’s primary elections, and the race for lieutenant governor continues to heat up with incumbent Delbert Hosemann calling for an investigation into challenger Sen. Chris McDaniel.
Following accusations of illegal campaign finance activity earlier this year, Hosemann is calling for Attorney General Lynn Fitch and Jones County District Attorney Brad Thompson to look into possible voter fraud by McDaniel. The request from Hosemann comes after Greenwood Commonwealth editor Tim Kalich wrote a column, alleging McDaniel does not live at the address included on his legislative profile.
“My opponent has been referred for criminal prosecution for his repeated illegal campaign finance reports. Now, it appears doubtful that he lived in his district,” Hosemann said. “Voting is the cornerstone of our Constitution. I call upon the attorney general and district attorney of Jones County to investigate this alleged illegal activity and determine before August 8 whether the voters of Mississippi have been misled and its election laws violated.”
According to Kalich’s column, a former Greenwood Commonwealth reporter who now lives in McDaniel’s hometown of Ellisville found that McDaniel does not actually reside at the home he claims as his residence. Through observation and checking the city water records, the former reporter concluded that McDaniel has not lived in the home since 2017.
While McDaniel’s campaign team has ignored multiple requests from SuperTalk Mississippi News to explain his side of the residency accusations, the four-term senator did tell other outlets that the home has black mold which has prevented him and his family from staying there.
In a previous interview on The Gallo Show, McDaniel addressed accusations that he violated campaign finance laws in March by using a self-created PAC to funnel $475,000 into his campaign from a nonprofit corporation in Virginia – exceeding the $1,000 limit corporations are legally allowed to donate to a campaign.
McDaniel argued that Mississippi’s campaign finance laws do not coincide with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, prohibiting the government from restricting independent expenditures for political campaigns by corporations.
“Mississippi has a $1,000 limit on what corporations can give to a political action committee. That cap was rendered unconstitutional with that Citizens United back in 2010,” McDaniel said. “Subsequent decisions by the United States Supreme Court have indicated that corporations have the ability and should have the ability, almost like individuals, to give money to campaigns.”
McDaniel, who returned all the funds except for $1,000, also said the only reason he did so was to appease his opponent.
“We know for a fact that it wasn’t illegal. There’s no question about that. But what we did – just to make sure [Hosemann] couldn’t complain about it – we took the money, and we sent it back,” McDaniel said. “Nothing wrong, nothing illegal, and very transparent.”
Hosemann and McDaniel will be joined by Tiffany Longino on the Republican ticket for lieutenant governor during Tuesday’s primary elections.