McDaniel is positioning himself to challenge Mississippi’s other Republican U.S. senator, Roger Wicker, in 2018. Though he says he has not made a final decision, McDaniel is dropping hints, just as he did right up until his announcement in late 2013 that he would take on Cochran in ’14.
After former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore won the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Alabama last week by appealing to social conservatives, McDaniel told The Associated Press that he saw the Alabama results as “a continuation of what we did in 2013 and ’14.” McDaniel stopped short of saying he would challenge Wicker, but said Moore’s win “makes ours a much more compelling race.”
McDaniel also has the support of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who backed Moore in Alabama.
Wicker served in the Mississippi state Senate before winning a U.S. House seat in 1994. Gov. Haley Barbour appointed Wicker to the U.S. Senate in December 2007 after fellow Republican Trent Lott resigned. Wicker defeated Democratic former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove in November 2008 to fill the final years of the term Lott started.