MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - This year's U-S Senate race in Mississippi got a little more interesting Wednesday. State Senator Chris McDaniel announced his bid to take on incumbent Republican Senator Roger Wicker and Richard Boyanton in the G-O-P primary.
So far, there are three candidates running: Richard Boyanton, State Senator Chris McDaniel, and Republican Senator Roger Wicker
McDaniel picked his hometown of Ellisville to make the announcement.
"I'm proud of our state. I'm proud of our values. I'm proud of our heritage. We deserve better," McDaniel said from the auditorium stage at Jones County Junior College.
And with those words, State Senator Chris McDaniel burst on to the campaign scene in hot pursuit of incumbent Senator Roger Wicker. The Republican primary is June 5th only months away.
McDaniel gained national notoriety in 2014 when he challenged Mississippi's Senior Senator Thad Cochran in the Republican primary. He narrowly defeated Cochran and eventually lost in a run-off. It was a contentious race with millions of dollars being spent and plenty of heated rhetoric. McDaniel expects the same thing this time. He has already questioned Wicker's conservative credentials.
"If people want liberal solutions, the same old, same old, you're happy where Mississippi is today. You have your candidate. He's been there for almost three decades. His name is Roger Wicker. If you want change, if want a conservative to fight for you, you have your candidate. His name is Chris McDaniel," said McDaniel.
In his 2014 race against Thad Cochran, McDaniel had the support of several large national political action committees (PACS). Sources estimated they contributed up to 7 million dollars.
It's been reported that another political action committee has raised close to a million dollars.
Chris McDaniel has 3 months to travel the state and make his case. He plans to appear at the Biloxi Yacht Club Thursday night.
Senator Wicker released a statement following the McDaniel announcement.
"Gayle and I are looking forward to this campaign and sharing my record… We will work hard to once again earn the votes and support of all Mississippians," said Wicker.
Boyanton sent a press release Wednesday stating he "believes neither candidate for Senate is a great choice for Mississippi, one has been in office for 10 years and has accomplished very little in that time frame. The other been in state government and has nothing accomplished to his name."
Meanwhile, State Representative David Baria from Bay St. Louis and Howard Sherman, husband of actress Sela Ward are running in the Democratic primary.