Chris McDaniel Switching Senate Races In Mississippi

McDaniel to run for open Senate seat in Miss. rather than challenge Wicker

Facing an early March deadline to decide on whether to run for the Senate this year, McDaniel two weeks ago announced he'd take on Wicker.

"We are here in the Capitol of the great state of MS today to make an appeal to Governor Phil Bryant in the appointment of Chris McDaniel to fill the seat of Thad Cochran". "If we unite the party now and consolidate our resources, we can guarantee Donald Trump will have a fighter who will stand with him". Wicker said that until that happened, his campaign will continue as planned.

Thad Cochran announced last month he'd be stepping down citing his health.

Adding more intrigue to the bid for Cochran's seat, Gov. Phil Bryant has 10 days from April 1 to appoint a temporary office holder.

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An insurgent Mississippi Republican on Wednesday once again jumped into the race for a U.S. Senate seat he sought in 2014, catching flak anew from fellow party members even though the seat will be open this time with the retirement of U.S. Sen.

As you may remember, that special election is non-partisan so Republicans, Democrats, and Independents will all be on the ballot together.

Democrat Mike Espy, President Bill Clinton's first agriculture secretary, says he has a "strong intention" to run for the seat Cochran is leaving. Mississippi's special election rules are a little wonky: All of the candidates will run in a nonpartisan primary in November. Wicker will face Gulf Coast businessman Richard Boyanton in the Republican primary on June 5. Whoever Bryant does pick is likely to have their hands full with McDaniel, who has a rabid Tea Party following in the state - though McDaniel's criticisms of Trump during the 2016 GOP primary give opponents fodder to attack him. Many McDaniel supporters claimed the election was stolen from them. Forced into a runoff, Cochran called on longstanding ties to the African-American community by successfully courting black voters who traditionally support Democrats to vote for him in the runoff. MS is flush with Republicans: There are qualified statewide office holders, former statewide office holders, state legislators, and more who could credibly run. That sentiment was credited with vaulting Trump to the White House, a candidacy that McDaniel backed as the businessman turned politician easily won Mississippi's support.

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