Now that the Tea Party has recruited a Republican candidate to seek Thad Cochran’s seat in the U.S. Senate, the paramount question becomes “will Thad run?”
The state’s senior senator has kept his plans close to the vest. His response last week was a simple news release saying he will decide later this year. Cochran, 75, would be seeking his seventh term in the Senate. He first went to Washington 40 years ago as a U.S. representative.
He is not the only senior Republican senator to be “primary-ed” by the Tea Party. The confrontational conservative group also has recruited primary opponents for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.
The efforts to throw out these long-time, pro-business senators is turning the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another champion of conservatism, away from Tea Party candidates.