TUPELO – Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said he doesn’t think the possible success of insurgent Chris McDaniel in challenging six-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran will result in state Republican officeholders facing more opponents in next year’s elections.
Reeves, the first-term lieutenant governor who is likely to run for re-election in 2015, said Wednesday that Mississippi’s Republican leadership has been successful in fiscal budget restraint and passing socially conservative legislation, such as a ban after 20 weeks on abortions in the state.
Reeves, speaking to the Daily Journal editorial board for more than an hour on a host of issues, said those are the results all Republicans want – whether Tea Party members supporting McDaniel in the U.S. Senate campaign or traditional Republicans supporting Cochran.
There has been speculation that the success of McDaniel, a second-term state senator who is in a Tuesday runoff with Cochran in the Republican primary, might result in Reeves receiving a primary challenge next year. McDaniel and a handful of his allies in the state Senate have been at odds on occasion with Reeves, who presides over the Senate.
“We have managed government in a conservative way,” Reeves said Wednesday. “We also have managed government to be more efficient. … I don’t foresee significant impact on the way we govern or future elections because at the end of day every election is a choice. … And (there are) a lot of different factors.
Reeves said one significant factor is the distrust of Washington that does not transfer to state government in Jackson.