MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) — It’s a political battle between a GOP senator seeking his seventh term and a challenger who came in with strong Tea Party support. But the fight isn’t over, yet.
It’s the race that has grabbed both state and national headlines. Chris McDaniel versus incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran went down to the wire, and it appears the two Republicans are going to a runoff.
On June 24, the two GOP’s will return to the ballot. That’s because with 99.5 percent of the vote counted, both candidates took 49 percent of the vote. Winning the primary would have required 50 percent plus one vote.
The campaign was already filled with bizarre twists and turns.
The Rose Cochran nursing home scandal and the subsequent arrests of a Tea Party Chairman, a lawyer, a radio host and political supporter of McDaniel led to mudslinging and aggressive ads from both sides.
With the tight race also comes a historic element.
If McDaniel wins, it would be the first time since the 1940’s that a U.S. Senator representing Mississippi was beaten in the primary.
While Cochran didn’t take the podium last night, McDaniel took a moment to capitalize on the possibility of making history.
“This is a historic moment in this state’s history,” Rep. Chris McDaniel said. “And because of your hard work, because of your dedication, we sit here tonight leading a 42-year incumbent. But our fight is not over”
The runoff is set for June 24.
Here are the rules for voting. If you voted as a Republican in yesterday’s primary, you can cast your ballot in the runoff. If you did not vote yesterday, you can also vote in the runoff.
Mississippi law prevents your from switching parties in the primary runoff process.