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BY EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS
Associated Press

LAUREL, Miss. — A judge presiding over a lawsuit that challenges Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s victory in a Republican primary runoff says he intends to finish the case before the November general election.

Retired Chancellor Hollis McGehee of Lucedale held a status conference Wednesday in Laurel.

In a lawsuit filed last week, state Sen. Chris McDaniel demands that a judge declare him the Republican nominee or order a new runoff between him and Cochran.

Certified results of the June 24 runoff show that Cochran, a six-term incumbent, defeated the tea party-backed McDaniel by 7,667 votes. McDaniel claims voting irregularities tainted the runoff.

McGehee will hear arguments on pre-trial motions Aug. 28. He says he’s considering Sept 15 or Sept 22 as possible trial start dates.

Neither McDaniel nor Cochran was in court Wednesday.

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