McDaniel considers options after Cochran announcement

McDaniel considers options after Cochran announcement
State Sen. Chris McDaniel will now run for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Sen. Roger Wicker. (Source: WLOX)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Second-time U.S. senatorial candidate Chris McDaniel slammed the record of incumbent Roger Wicker at a campaign rally in Gulfport.

McDaniel also pushed back at smear tactics and unwanted outside influence.

Because the retirement of Sen. Thad Cochran, McDaniel, who lost to Thad Cochran four years ago in a bizarre primary battle, has some decisions to make.

He is now back on the campaign trail with even more options.

"And, here we are again. Together again," McDaniel told the crowd at Faith Baptist Church.

Now, he could make a run at the special election for that seat in the Nov. 6 special election. He's considering it because he believes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is affecting the plot.

"I want all options on the table," McDaniel said. "I'll tell you why. It's not about a race at this point. It's about telling Mitch McConnell to get out of our state at this point."

He said he doesn't feel rushed to make a decision. First things first.

"My prayers are with Thad Cochran and his family. I want him to be healthy and happy. I know that he's facing some health issues and my prayer is that he recovers and have a fruitful retirement."

In the meantime, he's zeroing in on Wicker. "So, if you think liberal solutions are best for Mississippi, if you like being last, you've got your guy," McDaniel said. "He's there. He's Roger Wicker."

He's particularly troubled by the Wicker ad claiming McDaniel is anti-Donald Trump and not conservative enough. "That's the way they play the game," he said to the crowd. "Lies, lies, lies."

So far, people are listening to his message.

"I liked everything I heard," said Sunshine DeGroat. "He wants to go up there and drain the swamp, and we've needed to do that for a long time."

Added Robert DeGroat: "I am against everybody that's up there. If Chris is going to be a new face up there and he stands by what he says, then I think he'll do just fine."

Some supporters aren't even of voting age.

"I think he did a great job," said 14-year-old Liberty Fitzpatrick. "He showed everyone that he meant business and he showed everyone that he was serious and he was not playing around."

The Republican primary for Wicker's seat will be June 5. The special election for Cochran's seat will be Nov. 6.

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