MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - In front of friends and supporters, State Representative David Baria officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate on Friday in Bay St. Louis.
Since a member of the Democrat party hasn't won a Senate campaign in the state in more than three decades Baria understands the challenges ahead.
"I recognize fully that it's going to be a long shot and it's going to be a difficult path to a win. But there' a chance here that's presented by circumstances, and I think I'm the right man to take advantage of that," Baria said.
Baria, who's served in the state legislature since 2008 looks to Alabama for optimism after seeing Doug Jones win last year.
"What Alabama showed us is that if you have a far-right candidate that people are going to gravitate toward the more moderate candidate," Baria said.
While Baria works to win the Democratic primary, he'll be watching what is expected to be an extremely competitive and expensive campaign between incumbent Roger Wicker and Chris McDaniel on the Republican side.
"By the time those two guys are done I think there will be some space in the middle for a moderate Democrat, and that's what I am," Baria said.
Before the general election, Baria is in a field of six Democrats, and he's looking for ways to finance his campaign.
"I just set up my campaign account today, so I started off with $100 that I deposited into it," Baria said. "Right now, I do not have the money, but I have a plan. And I told people around here in Hancock County when I ran in 2007, I might get beat but nobody is going to outwork me."
Along with Baria, five other candidates will appear on the June 5th Democratic primary ballot.
The list of Democratic candidates includes:
- David Baria of Bay St. Louis
- Jensen Bohren of Benton
- Jerone Garland of Kosciusko
- Victor Maurice, Jr. of Pass Christian
- Omeria Scott of Laurel
- Howard Sherman of Meridian
Click here for a complete list of candidates running for the US Senate seat.