McDaniel Decision Has State Republicans Scrambling

MISSISSIPPI (WCBI) – Tea Party Republican, Chris McDaniel changed his mind this week about challenging Republican Senator Roger Wicker.

As we reported earlier, McDaniel announced his intentions to run in a special election.

Issues surrounding that decision are what will make Mississippi Politics a spectacle in the several elections to come.

What McDaniel has done with this decision is give himself time to build more momentum for a seat he lost two years ago.

His problem is his party could have other plans for that seat.

That division could give democrats the chance to fill a seat Thad Cochran kept red for decades.


“It’s going to be 36 months of just very intriguing politics all the way around,” said former Director of the Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, Dr. Marty Wiseman.

Wiseman says McDaniel may have given himself more time to build his campaign between now and November, but his competition, former US Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, a name as notable as Roger Wicker’s.

“It’s not going to be any picnic beating him with his name recognition,” said Wiseman. “So he’s going to have to take it very seriously.”

What’s different about the November 6th election is it’s a free-for-all.

Any candidate from any party willing to raise the funds can run.

“Looking at the special election, what you have there, whether you have five or 105 elected, everybody is in one PAC, and whoever gets 50% plus one can win on the first day,” described Wiseman.

Or it could go into a runoff between the top two candidates.

Tension between McDaniel and state Republicans could potentially give Espy the upper hand.

“You get three or four Republicans in there because you don’t want McDaniel in there, the establishment side of the Republican party, and the Democrats coalesce around Espy then you could have Espy take advantage of the 50% plus one because it gets split all over the place with Republicans,” said Wiseman.

Which could give Espy a clear shot at the vacant seat, a seat Cochran kept Red for over forty years.

Further clarifying, this election would only give the winner of the special election the seat until the next official election in 2020, so if McDaniel wins this one and wants to keep the seat he’ll have to raise money twice.

And that’s *IF* he wins.

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