Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Cochran's legacy cemented throughout Mississippi, Capitol

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Melinda Barton | 07 March, 2018, 21:11

In regards to Cochran's seat, the tea party-backed MS senator Chris McDaniel said he hoped to challenge Wicker but also said he might jump into the Cochran special election. He sought to become majority leader in 1996 after Bob Dole resigned to concentrate on his presidential campaign, though Cochran was decisively defeated, 44-8, by his Mississippi Republican colleague Trent Lott. "My hope is by making this announcement now, a smooth transition can be ensured so their voice will continue to be heard in Washington, D.C. My efforts, and those of my staff, to assist them will continue and transfer to my successor".

The state's primary is slated for June 5, but with Cochran leaving Capitol Hill early, here's a look at what will happen to his seat.

Cochran's term is not up until January 2021, meaning that MS will hold a special election later this year to choose a successor to serve out the remainder of his term.

In 2014, he struggled to win a Republican primary over McDaniel, who received financial support from libertarian-leaning groups that criticized Cochran as a big spender.

In the state's other Senate race, Republican Roger Wicker is running for re-election.

Cochran is the 10th-longest serving senator of all time, and the third-longest among incumbents, behind Vermont's Patrick Leahy, a Democrat whose current term expires in 2023, and Utah's Orrin Hatch, a Republican who's retiring after 2018.

Cochran is just over halfway through a six-year term.

Bryant, who is broadly popular, would have been considered a heavy favorite to hold onto the Cochran seat, had he appointed himself and run in the special election to fill the remainder of Cochran's term, which expires in January 2021. "And the people of MS — and our whole nation— have benefited from his steady determination to do the latter", Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. McDaniel said he had no connection to the incident. Thad Cochran married Webber in a private ceremony in May 2015.

The open seat is expected to attract several candidates. He smiled as he answered the question and told reporters, "I'm smiling because of your persistence".

Clay Chandler, Director of Communications for the Governor, confirmed Tuesday that Gov. Bryant has zero intentions of appointing himself to the seat.

Will there be a special election?

That's the day longtime U.S. Senator and Northeast Mississippi native Thad Cochran will step down from his seat after almost 46 years representing the Magnolia State in Washington, D.C.