McDaniel announces change in Senate race

McDaniel announces change in Senate race
State Sen. Chris McDaniel will now run for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by Sen. Roger Wicker. (Source: WLOX)

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - State senator Chris McDaniel is officially in the running to fill the U.S. Senate seat that Thad Cochran held for decades and has withdrawn from the Republican primary contest against U.S. Senator Roger Wicker.

In a letter to the Mississippi Republican Party, McDaniel asked that his name be removed from the June 5th GOP Primary ballot to "avoid any legal ambiguities about the status of (his) campaign."

McDaniel had filed qualifying papers to run for the seat held by Wicker, but when Cochran announced his retirement, McDaniel said he would consider running for the open seat in the November election.

On March 21, Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to fill Cochran's seat until the election. Smith, McDaniel and Democrat Mike Espy have announced their candidacies for the race.

Hyde-Smith is set to be sworn in as U.S. Senator next month, becoming Mississippi's first female member of Congress.

Read McDaniel's letter in full below: