Via his campaign website, Senator McDaniel announced he will run for Senator Thad Cochran’s soon to be empty senate seat.

His statement below:

Says GOP Must Unite to Beat Democrats

Today, Chris McDaniel announced that he will run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Senator Thad Cochran. The seat will become open on Aprl 1, the date of Cochran’s retirement.

Cochran’s departure from the Senate will trigger a special election to fill his unexpired term. McDaniel has been getting a lot of encouragement from his supporters to run in the open seat. Supporters say an open seat is the best path for McDaniel to win election to the United States Senate.



“By announcing early, we are asking Mississippi Republicans to unite around my candidacy and avoid another contentious contest among GOP members that would only improve the Democrats’ chances of winning the open seat,” McDaniel said. “If we unite the party now and consolidate our resources, we can guarantee Donald Trump will have a fighter who will stand with him.”

The open seat is the same seat McDaniel competed for in the 2014 Republican primary where he received the most votes with 49.5 percent of the total. Cochran, however, prevailed after 40,000 Democrats voted in the GOP run-off, giving Cochran a win by just over 6,000 votes.

Donors looking to increase the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate that would like to avoid a contentious primary in deep red Mississippi have strongly supported the idea of McDaniel running in the open seat. Many GOP donors complained about the recent election in Alabama where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s PAC, the Senate Leadership Fund, alone spent more than $8 million to target conservative Congressman Mo Brooks. That effort led to Roy Moore winning the Republican nomination and subsequentely being defeated by Democrat Doug Jones, the first Democrat to win a U.S. Senate seat in conservative Alabama since Richard Shelby, now a Republican, won in 1992.

“When you look at how the establishment works to keep conservatives like Mo Brooks from winning a U.S. Senate seat only to lose the seat entirely, you have to conclude that Mitch McConnell and his lieutenants would rather lose a seat to a Democrat than elect a conservative,” said McDaniel.

“It’s no secret that the Mississippi Republican establishment has been coordinating with Mitch McConnell to do everything in their power to keep me from getting elected to the United States Senate, just as they did with Mo Brooks,” said McDaniel. “Mitch McConnell wants to hand-pick our next Senator. I understand why. It’s because they know that I won’t be answering to them, I’ll be answering to the voters of Mississippi and putting Mississippi first.”

After hearing the news of McDaniels expected race switch, Senator Roger released the following statement:

“Until Senator McDaniel removes his name from the ballot for this race, we have no choice but to continue our campaign as planned. Gayle and I are grateful for the outpouring of support we’re receiving from all over the state. We will not take anything for granted and will continue the hard work of once again earning the support of Mississippi voters.” – Roger Wicker