GOP intraparty clash poised to shape U.S. Senate contest in Mississippi

He told a member of Bryant’s inner circle in mid-October that he was interested in being appointed to Cochran’s seat, if Cochran were to retire or die prior to his term expiring after 2020, according to two people familiar with the situation. Around the same time, Mississippi Conservative Daily, a website that backs McDaniel, sent out an action alert calling on supporters to flood the phone lines of the governor’s office requesting that he appoint McDaniel.

In the interview, McDaniel said he has had “no official conversation” with the governor’s staff about an appointment.

“I know all the governor’s people. They know my people,” said McDaniel. “And there’s been a lot of speculation about who might receive the appointment. But there’s been no official conversation. No detailed conversations on it.”

He said he would “potentially” be interested in filling the seat, but that there are several factors he would have to consider.

Clay Chandler, a spokesman for Bryant, said that the governor has not spoken to McDaniel about the Cochran seat.

“Mississippi is stronger because of Sen. Cochran’s service, and I look forward to it continuing,” Bryant said in a statement. “Speculation about anything else is insensitive, irresponsible and unfair.”