Chris McDaniel Looks to Play in Mississippi Special Election

“The United Conservatives Fund has been contacted by many regarding several prospective candidates to run for the District 1 Congressional seat previously held by Congressman Alan Nunnelee,” McDaniel said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “Our UCF team is currently discussing scenarios and who we might support in the election, if anyone.”

Local operatives were hesitant to speak on the record a day after hundreds packed a church in Tupelo, Miss., for Nunnelee’s funeral. But a handful of state Republicans privately expressed concern to CQ Roll Call about McDaniel’s involvement in the race.

“We all remember what we went through last year,” said one Mississippi Republican operative who lives in the 1st District. We “are not anxious to repeat that process again.”

Meanwhile, prospective candidates to succeed the three-term congressman have started to surface.

Republicans named the following politicians as potential candidates: Mississippi Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert, who is gearing up for re-election to his current gig, and former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough, who lost the GOP primary in a 1st District special election in 2008.

Both Republicans are well-known politicians in the 1st District. They can ramp up a team and the necessary money for a quick sprint to the special election. But neither would clear a GOP field, and a crowded Republican primary will likely materialize as a result.

Other potential Republican candidates include:

State Sen. Gray Tollison from Oxford.
Tollison’s wife, Amanda Tollison, an attorney who served as chief counsel to former Gov. Haley Barbour.
James Maxwell, a judge from Oxford, who serves on the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
Quentin Whitwell, a former Jackson City councilmember who moved back to Oxford in the past year.
State Rep. Brad Mayo from Oxford.
Alcorn County District Attorney Trent Kelly.
State Treasurer Lynn Fitch.
Boyce Adams, who lost a bid for the Mississippi Public Service Commission in 2011 to Democrat Brandon Presley, a relative of singer Elvis Presley.
Merle Flowers, a former state senator who retired in 2012.

Roll Call
2/11/15