Sept. trial likely for Miss. election challenge

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS | August 20, 2014 | 3:05 PM EDT

Mark Garriga, left, and Phil Abernethy, co-counsel representing U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., listen to instructions from Judge Hollis McGehee during a status conference Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Laurel, Miss., on the lawsuit filed by State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, to overturn results of a Republican primary for U.S. Senate. McDaniel filed the lawsuit last week, challenging his loss to six-term Sen. Thad Cochran in the June 24 GOP primary. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

LAUREL, Miss. (AP) — 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 held a status conference Wednesday in Laurel, Mississippi.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel filed a lawsuit last week demanding 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 six-term incumbent Cochran 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.