Chris McDaniel details his decision to switch races - - Jackson, MS

Chris McDaniel details his decision to switch races

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

State Senator Chris McDaniel has announced he will withdraw his qualifying papers to run against Roger Wicker in June's Republican primary. He'll now instead run for Senator Thad Cochran's soon to be open seat.

The Governor isn't staying silent about this race. Meanwhile, Chris McDaniel says he's a fighter. And the fight is starting early in his newly declared race.
He had just announced his intentions to switch races when Governor Bryant responded with strong words.

"This opportunistic behavior is a sad commentary for a young man who once had great potential," said Bryant in a statement.

"It seems the only time he found it opportunistic is when Mitch McConnell told him to find it opportunistic," responded McDaniel Thursday. "And that's fine. I know he and Mitch have been talking and Mitch McConnell doesn't like me very much and that's fine. But I have no ill will whatsoever toward Phil Bryant. I wish him the best. It's just that Mitch McConnell doesn't need to be affecting Mississippi politics."

But shortly after McDaniel's Thursday press conference, the Governor tweeted: "Anyone who thinks anyone in Washington will influence who I appoint to complete Sen. Cochran's term is out of touch with reality."

McDaniel believes his early announcement of the switch could help the party.

"We have a unique opportunity in a special election around a single candidate, one that's already in the race," noted McDaniel. "Why does that matter? Well, we've seen what happens when there's these intraparty wars or these bloodbaths that occur."

But with the Governor making it clear Thursday that McDaniel isn't an option for the appointment, there will likely be at least one other Republican in the special election race. McDaniel was asked if he was concerned the GOP vote would be fractured because of that.

"Right now that's not my call," replied McDaniel. "If the establishment wants to bring another war to our party, they'll have to bring the war to our party."

There's also a recurring theme from McDaniel, his 2014 race against Thad Cochran.

"All I'm asking is to finish the seat that I feel like we won in 2014," added McDaniel.

We did reach out to Democrat Mike Espy who has also announced his intentions to run for Cochran's seat. He was unavailable for comment Thursday.

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