Hinds GOP chair paid by Cochran PAC

A consulting firm owned by Hinds County GOP Chairman Pete Perry, who helps oversee primary elections, has been paid $60,000 by a super PAC that supports incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran.

This has raised questions about a conflict of interest from supporters of challenger Chris McDaniel. And questions about Perry’s involvement in an incident where McDaniel supporters were found locked in the Hinds Courthouse in the wee hours of the morning after election night.

“Does this seem fair to you?” McDaniel supporter and tea party leader Roy Nicholson wrote in a post on McDaniel’s campaign Facebook page. “… This is the same Pete Perry who has the gall to be suspicious of others?”

Perry said there’s nothing untoward about him participating in the campaign or his firm being hired by the Mississippi Conservatives super PAC that has spent millions helping Cochran. He said numerous McDaniel supporters are also involved in running the election, as poll workers at county voting precincts.

“I’m the county chairman, but the party runs the election, not just me, the whole party,” Perry said. “We hire poll workers who are very strong Chris McDaniel supporters, others who support Cochran. I trust their integrity … They’re the ones actually signing voters in and giving out ballots … What am I supposed to do, go find people who don’t care about the election to run the precincts?”

Clarion Ledger
6/14/14