Espy to run for US Senate

Espy to run for US Senate

Mississippi's senior U.S. Senator, Republican Thad Cochran, just announced he will resign from the Senate effective April 1, 2018.

"I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge", Mr. Cochran said in a statement.

But some speculate that McDaniel will drop out of that race and run in the special election created by Cochran's retirement. Best of all from McConnell's standpoint, he'd also be a bulwark against McDaniel, who himself has built enough of a brand in MS that he might capture Cochran's vacant seat unless McConnell can throw someone formidable in his path. Bryant - or maybe Haley Barbour, who's 71? - is just what the doctor ordered for the Republican establishment. "My top concern has always been my constituents in Mississippi", Cochran said in the statement. Chris McDaniel, who previously challenged Cochran in a particularly nasty fight in 2014.

A unique quirk that brings the potential for chaos in that special election: That special election will be a "jungle" race in which the candidates appear on the ballot with no party affiliation listed.

Bryant has not released names of people he will consider appointing, though there has been widespread speculation that he might appoint Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves or Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, both Republicans.

Former U.S. Representative and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Mike Espy confirmed to WLBT-TV Monday that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Thad Cochran.

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It's rumored that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint state House Speaker Philip Gunn to the seat, and schedule a special election to replace Cochran for November - the same day as the general midterm elections.

UPDATE: Senator Wicker is up for re-election this year.

Espy in 1986 became the first African-American in modern times to win a congressional seat in Mississippi. "The Senate needs more devoted public servants like Thad Cochran, and I am sad to see my dear friend leave". McDaniel said he had no connection to the incident.

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., announced in January he planned to retire at the end of this year. Cochran's service to our nation has made the lives of Mississippians better, and his support of our military has made America safer.

Wicker called Cochran "one of the greatest leaders in our state's history".

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