Statewide officials give opinions of MS GOP divide - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

How wide is the divide in the MS Republican Party?

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"It's the 800 pound gorilla that is under the pavilion," said Philip Gunn.   Source: WLBT "It's the 800 pound gorilla that is under the pavilion," said Philip Gunn. Source: WLBT
One statewide official who's being more careful with what he says is Governor Bryant.   Source: WLBT One statewide official who's being more careful with what he says is Governor Bryant. Source: WLBT
"We truly feel like we've been betrayed," said McDaniel supporter Renee Hood. "We don't think it was still a fair election."   Source: WLBT "We truly feel like we've been betrayed," said McDaniel supporter Renee Hood. "We don't think it was still a fair election." Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Worn down and fractured was the recent description of the Mississippi Republican Party in the wake of the U.S. Senate race. Speaker Philip Gunn-R tackled the problem head on at Neshoba.

"It's the 800 pound gorilla that is under the pavilion," said Gunn. "And nobody wants to seem to talk about it."

Gunn supported Thad Cochran. Although, he was not as visible or vocal as other officials who gave endorsements. He compares the GOP division to a marriage that needs work to keep it going.

"We can abandon the party because we're having a disagreement," explained Gunn. "Or we can hang in there. We can talk to one another. We can listen to one another. We can find common ground. And then work to make our party stronger."

Visually there was a divide on the fairgrounds. It wasn't just two sets of supporters but three. A small group of Chris McDaniel supporters weren't too concerned with worsening a divide.

"We truly feel like we've been betrayed," said McDaniel supporter Renee Hood. "We don't think it was still a fair election."

One statewide official who's being more careful with what he says is Governor Bryant.

"It can't be the policy and that's why I know we'll be fine,"described Bryant. "At the end of the day, no one has come up to me and said I'm mad at you or anyone in the party because of a policy issue. It is simply a political issue and those have a way of healing."

Yet, Bryant admits he's quietly been working to begin the healing process in his party.

"It's my belief when you are trying to calm down people who are angry, who may feel even betrayed, It's best to do so on a one on one basis, said the governor. "And try as you can understand why they feel that way. And see if there are any real issues that they may have that we might be able to deal with."

Chris McDaniel's campaign has announced it will hold a press conference Monday. They plan to announce a "major development" about the runoff results.

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