- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2014

A staffer for state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s Senate campaign was one of three people found in the closed Hinds County Courthouse Wednesday morning, the day after the Mississippi primary in which Mr. McDaniel forced incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran into a run-off.

“Those people had no business being in that building at that hour,” Hinds County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Othor Cain said.

One of the people found in the courthouse was Scott Brewster, the coalition coordinator for the McDaniel campaign.

Mr. Brewster did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Hinds County election officials had finished counting votes and left the building at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, but the three people are thought to have entered the building between 2 and 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Mr. Cain said.

The Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the event, though Mr. Cain said it was unclear at this time whether any charges will be filed.

McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch said the three were only at the courthouse to observe the vote count.

“Last night with an extremely close election and Hinds being one of the last counties to report, our campaign sent people to the Hinds courthouse to obtain the outstanding numbers and observe the count,” Mr. Fritsch said in a statement.

Mr. Fritsch added that a uniformed official granted the three access to the building, but Mr. Cain said he doubts this claim.

“It is a deliberate fabrication of the truth to say that a uniformed official let them in,” the spokesman said.

Mr. Brewster remains the only person officially connected to the campaign who was discovered in the building.

The other two found in the courthouse were Rob Chambers and Janis Lane. Ms. Lane is listed as the president of the Central Mississippi Tea Party (CMTP) on that organization’s website.

Tea party groups largely supported Mr. McDaniel in the bitter primary.

The run-off between the two men is set for June 24.