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Conservative McDaniel switch races in Mississippi double-barreled Senate contest

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., On the left, resigned last week to leave its place free. State Sen., Chris McDaniel, right, ran unsuccessfully for the Cochran seat in 2014, to re-fill the Senate seat, instead of the President of the sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

(Reuters)

Mississippi Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel announced on Wednesday he will run for the seat Sen. Thad Cochran vacated, instead challenging incumbent sen. Roger Wicker, in an effort to “together, the party” race in the double-barreled Senate.

McDaniel, who is the Mississippi state senator, has shifted resources to the campaign for the Cochran-seat, open the, 1. April.

“With the announcement, at the beginning, to unite, we ask Mississippi Republicans, to my candidacy and avoid another controversial competition among the GOP members that said the improvement with the Democrats” chances of a free place,” McDaniel in a statement Wednesday. “If we unite, to consolidate the party, and our resources, we can guarantee that Donald Trump is a fighter, which is in the stand with him.”

The seat McDaniel is now running for the same seat he unsuccessfully 2014 Republican primary against Cochran competed for the year.

COCHRAN’S RESIGNATION LEAVES BOTH MISSISSIPPI SENATE SEATS IN PLAY

Cochran, R-Miss., resigned from the Senate last week, in the midst of challenges to health, after he for the past 40 years. His seat would not be up for re-election. His current term of office began after the 2014 midterm election cycle, and then expire in the year 2020.

But to fill in the result of his resignation, the Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, a temporary senator Cochran ‘ s empty space, and a special election will be held in November.

State Sen., Chris McDaniel, right, was Miss in the competition against the incumbent Sen. Roger Wicker, R -., in the condition 5. June Primary School. Now, McDaniel left to compete for the seat held by Sen. Thad Cochran, R-miss., who resigned last week.

(AP/Reuters)

“The Governor appoints someone to the vacant position to fill,” Bryant’s spokesman, told Fox News last week. “That will happen within 10 days of the 1. April, Sen. Cochran, the effective date of retirement.”

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., resigned from his seat after 40 years of health challenges.

(AP)

It is unclear at this point whether Bryant appoint McDaniel, Cochran’s empty space in front of the 5. June primary run-off.

But sources told Fox News that there are some concerns on the Republican side of the aisle about McDaniel—with more than one source, compared McDaniel to the candidacy of former Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

“Mitch McConnell wants the Senator to hand-pick our next one. I understand why,” McDaniel said in a statement. “It’s because you don’t know that I will answer them [the GOP establishment], I will answer to the voters in Mississippi and put Mississippi first.”

Sources told Fox News that the GOP was the establishment, at the urging McDaniel to compete against the Wicker, rather than for Cochran’s seat, as some members are concerned that a McDaniel primary win, a Democrat could finally take off the seat.

Mississippi, historically, a long list of Democrats elected to the Senate—but that is not what happened, as Senator John C. Stennis. He left his seat in January 1989—almost 30 years ago.

Following Cochran’s resignation, former Rep. Mike Espy, D-Miss., announced his intention to run.

“I have learned, with the pending resignation of Sen. Cochran—a person I admire and respect, and who has done so much for Mississippi about his term in office,” Espy said in a statement to Fox News. “Now, he has announced his upcoming resignation, I would like to declare my firm intention to run for the Senate of the United States (for the Cochran-seat).”

Espy, who served as a Congressman from Mississippi from 1987 to 1993, was the first African-American to hold a Mississippi congressional seat. Espy went on to serve as former President Bill Clinton, secretary of Agriculture –the first African-American in the Cabinet post in the history.

“It has worked since I was in Washington, and I have said to have witnessed with dismay the continuing dysfunction” Espy. “I’ve proven that I can work with anyone, as long as the goal is a better Mississippi.”

For Wicker, the seat is, there are six declared Democrats 5 PV—including the State House Minority Leader David Baria and state Rep. Omeria Scott runs in June.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and John Roberts contributed to this report.

Brooke Singman is a political Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter at @Brooke FoxNews.

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