Thad Cochran draws hefty crowd to Gulfport

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There was a little bit of disappointment at a rally for Thad Cochran at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport on Sunday. Arizona Senator and former Republican Presidential candidate John McCain was supposed to make an appearance to stump for the incumbent Senator from Mississippi, but a canceled flight left him stuck in Dallas, TX.

More than 100 people still turned out as Cochran told supporters he would continue to ensure Mississippi's voice is heard in Washington. He said the show of support is a good indication that his message is reaching voters in South Mississippi.

"My heart is warmed by the outpouring of the attendance and enthusiasms. I appreciate this indication of excitement about my campaign for reelection, and I think it's a mandate for me to continue to work hard to try to reflect credit on our state," Cochran said.

Cochran stopped to shake hands and exchange words with dozens of supporters. It's that kind of individual attention that is attracting supporters like Vivian Dailey.

"He is a wonderful, principled Republican who cares about every individual, and we need to keep him in Washington," Dailey said. "I've seen him several times throughout the campaign, and he's always such a gentlemen and that's what you want in a good politician and statesmen."

Although McCain couldn't make it, Cochran said he appreciates his support and looks forward to continue working with him in the future.

"It was an indication too, to the people here that he and I have worked closely on national defense issues and others as well. We remain good friends, and we'll continue to work together for the good of the United States and our security interest around the world," Cochran said.

"He just wants to do what's right for the state of Mississippi, and that's what he's done and that's why we need to keep him there," Cochran supporter Bob Short said.

Despite his absence Sunday evening, the Cochran campaign says McCain is still expected to be at a campaign rally in Jackson on Monday afternoon.

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