By BRIAN PERRY
State Sen. Chris McDaniel in Jones County on Thursday announced his candidacy as a Republican for U.S. Senate in 2014. Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran has not said whether he will seek another term. If he does, he will face a primary challenge from McDaniel.
McDaniel seeks to frame the campaign between himself, who opposes spending, and Cochran, the former Senate Appropriations Chairman who has funded billions of dollars of projects in Mississippi.
“The national debt is the greatest moral crisis of this generation,” McDaniel told the crowd of 300-400 from the steps of the Ellisville Courthouse. “You do recognize that there is no national security interest more compelling, no interest that outlies the future of this country more compelling than that of the national debt. So let’s go forth from this place making it perfectly clear that the era of big spending is over. The age of appropriations must end.” McDaniel released a web video in which he called Mississippi “a welfare state.”
Were Cochran to not seek reelection, McDaniel’s campaign could lose its narrative. Other Republicans who might enter the race include Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, State Auditor (and McDaniel’s fellow Jones Countian) Stacey Pickering, Third District Congressman Gregg Harper, or even Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves.
Madison County Journal