State Sen. Chris McDaniel Switches Races to Run for Thad Cochran's Seat

Wednesday state Senator Chris Mc Daniel has announced he is backing out of challenging Roger Wicker and will now run for Senator Thad Cochran's soon-to-be-open Senate seat in the November special election. Source WLBT Archives

MS is flush with Republicans: There are qualified statewide office holders, former statewide office holders, state legislators, and more who could credibly run.

In a press release, Chris McDaniel says he's abandoning his primary challenge against Senator Wicker and will now run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Senator Thad Cochran.

According to the Washington Examiner, McDaniel could face his first hurdle if GOP Gov. Phil Bryant appoints a consensus conservative to succeed Cochran, who then also runs in the special.

"This opportunistic behavior is a sad commentary for a young man who once had great potential", said Bryant.

Chris McDaniel is dropping his primary challenge to Sen. Thad Cochran, he announced Wednesday. "If we unite the party now and consolidate our resources, we can guarantee Donald Trump will have a fighter who will stand with him". Chris McDaniel in the U.S. Senate race.

Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, speaks about one of his amendments during floor debate to the creation of the Asbestos Transparency Trust Act in Senate chambers at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The political scientist said he wasn't surprised by McDaniel's switch, saying polling data showed strong support for Wicker among MS voters.

Also in his statement McDaniel puts Mitch McConnell on blast stating he's done everything he can to keep McDaniel from getting elected to the senate.

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"Mitch McConnell wants to hand-pick our next Senator", McDaniel said.

Democrat Mike Espy, President Bill Clinton's first agriculture secretary, says he has a "strong intention" to run for the seat Cochran is leaving.

Roger Wicker said, "Until Senator McDaniel removes his name from the ballot for this race, we have no choice but to continue our campaign as planned".

Tea Party leader Laura VanOverschelde told reporters Wednesday that 2014 primary was "stolen" and argued that Bryant would do long-delayed justice by appointing McDaniel.

McDaniel catapulted onto the national political scene in 2014 when he beat Cochran in the Republican primary, but failed to gain the majority of votes required to earn the Republican primary.

Bryant said in a statement that he hasn't decided who the appointment will be but notes he will not be affected by any political group or dynamic. "That decision has not been made".

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