By Emily Wagster Pettus
ELLISVILLE – Second-term state Sen. Chris McDaniel says he’s running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, a decision that likely pits him against longtime incumbent Thad Cochran in the Republican primary.
Cochran turns 76 in December and is expected to announce late this year whether he’ll seek re-election to the Senate seat he first won in 1978. He has been raising campaign cash.
The 41-year-old McDaniel announced his intentions Thursday in his hometown of Ellisville.
Cochran served six years in the U.S. House before becoming the first Republican since Reconstruction to win a statewide office in Mississippi when he was elected to the Senate. He has served as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, bringing billions of federal dollars to the state.
McDaniel has been closely allied with tea party conservatives.