JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi's senior statesman, Thad Cochran won a seventh term in the US Senate Tuesday. Just minutes after the polls closed, the Associated Press called the race in favor of the republican. Hours later the numbers backed up that call, showing the 76-year-old incumbent defeating Democratic former Congressman Travis Childers and Reform Party candidate Shawn O'Hara.
Flanked by Gov. Bryant and Lt. Gov. Reeves, Sen. Cochran addressed his supporters in Jackson Tuesday night saying, "No matter who you voted for today, I want you to know that I'm committed to doing my best to represent Mississippi in the United States Senate and to reflect credit on our state. Our nation faces many challenges but by working together, I'm optimistic we can get America back on the right track."
It was actually the primary race against Chris McDaniel that proved to be the toughest challenge of Cochran's political career. After losing in a runoff, McDaniel filed a lawsuit citing voting irregularities. The lawsuit was dismissed, and the decision later upheld by the state Supreme Court.
The court battle lasted into October, making this race a long one for Cochran. It was something the senator acknowledged Tuesday night.
"As we all know, it's been a long and interesting campaign," Cochran told the crowd. "This election brought a lot of interest and enthusiasm to the political process. It's a good thing for our democracy to have more people involved because it helps keep government accountable."
Cochran then congratulated Travis Childers on running a strong campaign, then ended his remarks saying, "Tonight is a time when we should all come together as Mississippians, as one state, as one voice, to make sure our state is well-represented for the future. For my children and grandchildren—for you, your children and grandchildren—it's a time to move forward. It's a time when we focus on things other than ourselves—putting aside our differences and putting our best foot forward for Mississippi's future. That's my continued commitment to you, and I thank you for your support and this victory tonight."