Speculation about Mississippi Senate race ramps up - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Speculation about Mississippi Senate race ramps up

The special election for Thad Cochran's upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate is sparking a lot of interest, even though the election is still months away. Source: WLBT The special election for Thad Cochran's upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate is sparking a lot of interest, even though the election is still months away. Source: WLBT
The special election for Thad Cochran's upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate is sparking a lot of interest, even though the election is still months away. Source: WLBT The special election for Thad Cochran's upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate is sparking a lot of interest, even though the election is still months away. Source: WLBT
The special election for Thad Cochran's upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate is sparking a lot of interest, even though the election is still months away. Source: WLBT The special election for Thad Cochran's upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate is sparking a lot of interest, even though the election is still months away. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The special election for Thad Cochran's upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate is sparking a lot of interest, even though the election is still months away.

There's technically still time for the Governor to make his appointment for the interim.

Cochran's seat doesn't actually become open until April 1.

Still, the speculation has already started about who will fill out his term.

No matter how the Senate race shapes up, one thing is certain.

"Now until November is going to be a fascinating time to be a follower of politics in Mississippi," said Millsaps political science professor Kenneth Townsend.

To get you up to speed, Governor Bryant said last week that Chris McDaniel will not be his appointment. But as Townsend explains, there are a few names that have circulated as potential options.

"Philip Gunn, Tate Reeves, Delbert Hosemann and Cindy Hyde-Smith," he said. "Those have been the four names we've heard the most I'd say. And as of this morning, the names that it seems are bubbling up to the top are Delbert Hosemann and Cindy Hyde-Smith."

Adding fuel to the "what if" scenarios are tweets from Republican author and analyst Andy Taggart who also served as Gov. Fordice's chief of staff.

"You can't rule him out. I don't expect that he'll be nominated by the governor," noted Townsend. "That doesn't seem to be in the cards. But he might throw his name in."

But Townsend says yet another Republican in the line-up isn't a good recipe for the GOP.

"The Republican Party in Mississippi really has to be careful," he said. "That is the group, it seems to me, that has the most to lose out of all of this. The Republican party in Mississippi is exceptionally strong, a super majority in both legislative houses, a dominance and the congressional delegation, and they're on the verge it appears of a full-blown Civil War if they're not careful."

Mike Espy is the only Democrat who has so far declared he'll enter the race.

READ MORE: Mike Espy to run for Thad Cochran's Senate seat

Now, we should note that former Governor Ronnie Musgrove's name has been thrown out as another possible candidate. He said today it was not in his plans.

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