The Chris McDaniel campaign has submitted a letter to the Mississippi GOP requesting that his name be removed from the primary ballot in his challenge of US Senator Roger Wicker.
McDaniel had said for over two weeks that he’d switch to the race for Senator Cochran’s open seat, but did not send his paperwork to the state party until today.
This comes the same day that two new ads hit the airways, paid for by Roger Wicker, that feature both former McDaniel and current Trump supporters critical of McDaniel and what they portray as his stance against President Trump. The letter cites the ads and asks the party to prevail on the Wicker campaign to stop his ads against McDaniel.
A copy of the letter text (now released by the campaign) is below.
Secretary Ellen Jernigan
Mississippi Republican Party
415 Yazoo Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Dear Madam Secretary:
I am writing to inform you that I am withdrawing my candidacy in the race for the Republican nomination for the 2018 Class 1 United States Senate seat currently held by Senator Roger Wicker. Therefore, I am requesting that my name not appear on the June 5, 2018, Republican Party Primary ballot to determine the GOP nominee for that race.
Secondly, I am writing to you to declare my candidacy in the race for the 2020 Class 2 United States Senate seat.
Moreover, I also want to inform you of my intention to officially declare my candidacy in the anticipated Special “Jungle Primary” Election for the same Class 2 United States Senate seat currently held by Senator Thad Cochran that is expected to occur on November 6, 2018. I will formally declare my candidacy when the special election is set as prescribed by state law.
As you know, Senator Thad Cochran announced his intention to vacate his seat on April 1 of this year. Upon his retirement, the governor will declare a Special Election for the open seat. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote or more, the two highest vote-getters of that “jungle primary” special election will face each other in a runoff election regardless of party affiliation. The winner of that runoff election will serve out the remainder of Cochran’s term which expires in January of 2021.
Because the time gap between my withdrawal from the Class 1 United States Senate race and the Governor declaring a Special Election in the Class 2 seat, and the fact that the actual date of the governor’s declaration remains unknown, I am announcing my candidacy for the regular 2020 election for the same Class 2 Senate seat. I’m taking this action to avoid any legal ambiguities about the status of my campaign committee.
I also want to request that the Republican Party of Mississippi call on Senator Roger Wicker to cease running untruthful ads about me and my record. Given the fact that those ads have continued to run despite my announcement for the open seat, they are apparently part of a strategy to weaken my candidacy and are tantamount to an undeclared contribution. Naturally, Roger should focus on his actual primary opponent in his race.
As you know, I am the only lifelong Republican in this race. I have been a Republican long before I could vote. Inspired by Ronald Reagan, I began as a teenage volunteer in 1984. I have served the party in many capacities since then. Before my election, I was a member of the Jones County Executive Committee for more than a decade, serving as an officer. During my service, I have donated hundreds of hours of volunteer time and thousands of dollars to advance the Republican agenda. From knocking on doors for Haley Barbour to being a county chair for Phil Bryant, I have twice been selected as a delegate to the state GOP convention and have served on the board of directors for Republican officeholders. I have also been a member of Mississippi’s United Republican Fund. I presently serve on the Republican National Lawyers Association.
I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve as Republican State Senator for more than ten years preserving the freedoms Mississippians enjoy. As a real conservative, I have consistently voted against tax increases and excessive spending. I have also resisted wasteful borrowing. I have defended the life of the unborn and fought to uphold the Second Amendment. I have opposed Obamacare and moves toward single-payer healthcare. I was proud to have represented Governor Bryant and other Mississippians in a federal lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of Obamacare. I have been a leader in government transparency and campaign spending accountability.
I wanted you to know that, as United States Senator representing our great state of Mississippi, I will continue to make government more responsive to the people, protect the Constitution, and strengthen our military. I will fight tax cuts and excessive spending. For example, I would have voted against the recent Omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and instead, will help fellow conservatives pass and present President Trump with spending bills he would be proud to sign.
And always, I will fight to put Mississippi first.