Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, Mississippi will host a special election to replace retiring U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
Candidate Chris McDaniel is running again for the open seat after nearly capturing it during a 2014 campaign.
As Conservative Treehouse reports, “Cochran’s departure from the Senate will trigger a special election to fill his unexpired term. McDaniel has been getting a lot of encouragement from his supporters to run in the open seat.”
During his previous campaign, McDaniel won the most votes, with 49.5 percent of the total.
But, because he did not secure a majority, a run-off election was implemented; “Cochran, however, prevailed after 40,000 Democrats voted in the GOP run-off, giving Cochran a win by just over 6,000 votes.”
“By announcing early, we are asking Mississippi Republicans to unite around my candidacy and avoid another contentious contest among GOP members that would only improve the Democrats’ chances of winning the open seat,” McDaniel said in a statement. “If we unite the party now and consolidate our resources, we can guarantee Donald Trump will have a fighter who will stand with him.”
McDaniel added, “When you look at how the establishment works to keep conservatives like Mo Brooks from winning a U.S. Senate seat only to lose the seat entirely, you have to conclude that Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants would rather lose a seat to a Democrat than elect a conservative.”
“It’s no secret that the Mississippi Republican establishment has been coordinating with Mitch McConnell to do everything in their power to keep me from getting elected to the United States Senate, just as they did with Mo Brooks,” the senate candidate also said. “Mitch McConnell wants to hand-pick our next Senator. I understand why. It’s because they know that I won’t be answering to them, I’ll be answering to the voters of Mississippi and putting Mississippi first.”
During McDaniel’s 2014 senatorial campaign, he scored an endorsement from Governor Sarah Palin.
“Chris is running with a servant’s heart,” Palin said during a rally in Jones County Junior College in McDaniel’s hometown, a USA Today affiliate reports.
Palin also said McDaniel can bring a desired change to Washington D.C., “Chris McDaniel knows the status quo has got to go.”
Here’s more from the rally:
Palin urged the McDaniel crowd, “Please don’t get distracted by some of these ridiculous non-stories,” an oblique reference to the recent Cochran photo scandal — four McDaniel supporters including a state and local tea party leader being arrested for allegedly photographing Cochran’s bedridden wife in a nursing home to use in a political hit piece video.
“The media will not succeed in getting you to pay attention to things on the periphery that don’t amount to a hill of beans,” Palin said. “The media is doing the same old blah, blah, blah, white noise.”
Palin told McDaniel’s young son, Cambridge, “Cambridge, you had me at the magnolia,” after he gave her a flower from the state tree.
“The eyes of America are on you and what will happen on June 3,” Palin said. “And it is wonderful to be in the Magnolia State to do whatever I can do to hopefully help and not hurt the cause of positive change needed to be ushered in in Washington, D.C.”
She said McDaniel supporters need to provide him and his family “a hedge of protection provided by a prayer shield” amidst one of the most bitter campaigns in state history.
As Washington Post reports, Palin also said that McDaniel “has a proven record of fighting for conservative principles in the Mississippi State Senate.”
Donald Trump also endorsed McDaniel over social media during the 2014 campaign.
“I hope voters in Mississippi cast their ballot for [Senator McDaniel]. He is strong, he is smart & he wants things to change in Washington,” Trump tweeted.
I hope voters in Mississippi cast their ballot for @senatormcdaniel. He is strong, he is smart & he wants things to change in Washington.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2014