JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Democratic Party is rejecting an attempt to disqualify a U.S. Senate candidate because of his past donation to a man he now hopes to eventually unseat.
The Clarion Ledger reports that Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Bobby Moak told party members in an email that a petition calling for the disqualification of Senate candidate Howard Sherman came too late to be considered.
The petition questioned Sherman’s past $5,000 donation to Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, the man Democrats hope to unseat. It also questioned whether he fulfils the Mississippi residency requirement since he has a home in California.
Attorney Sam Begley filed the petition, urging the party to consider the prospect of Sherman winning the primary and facing an opponent he financially supported.
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Sherman gave $5,000 to Wicker last summer.
Moak said he did not think either issue warrants disqualification. Regardless, Moak said the petition will not be considered by the committee because the challenge comes past the deadline.
Sherman, the husband of actress Sela Ward, says he has owned a home in Mississippi for 25 years and has been active in the community.
Sherman said he did previously give money to Wicker, but only because he thought Wicker was going to face a primary challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Faced with that “binary choice” he said he wanted to stop McDaniel, Sherman said in a statement.
McDaniel dropped out of the race against Wicker to run for former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s Senate seat.
Sherman is now one of several Democrats running in the hopes of unseating Wicker.
Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com