Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Another Republican Eyes Cochran Seat in Mississippi

Updated 12:09 p.m. | Mississippi Republicans are preparing for a Senate without Thad Cochran.

State Auditor Stacey E. Pickering told “The Gallo Show,” a statewide radio program, on Tuesday morning that if Cochran opts for retirement, he will run for Senate.

Although audio of the comments was not immediately available, Pickering’s office confirmed he made the statements. A Cochran decision on re-election is imminent — the senator has indicated he will make an announcement soon.

Pickering’s name surfaced earlier this fall as one of a handful of potential Cochran successors in CQ Roll Call’s Farm Team series.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel, a tea party candidate, already announced his challenge to Cochran earlier this fall.

The seat is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Update 12:09 p.m.

Pickering spoke with CQ Roll Call on Tuesday morning and discussed his ambitions.

“My position has been very consistent throughout the last year and a half: If he retires, it is my intention to run for U.S. Senate. But until he makes that decision, it’s premature to be hiring a staff, putting together a campaign or anything else of that nature,” he said.

He added that his conversation on the radio program was posed as a hypothetical question on Cochran’s retirement — this was not a formal announcement. And, given that if Cochran runs for re-election he will face a primary, Pickering said the state’s senior senator can count on his backing.

“Mississippi’s a small state; we all know each other very well,” he said. “The senator has served Mississippi with great distinction, not just our state but our nation, and I’m proud of the job he’s done. And we’ll continue to work with him and support him.”

  • Matt L. Barron

    How about some props for Brandon Presley as the likely Democratic nominee.

  • Layla

    Make way for the blowout coming in the next 3 Congressional elections. Obamacare was the last straw.

  • Roberto M

    This comes as a surprise to those of us who didn’t know Senator Cochran was still breathing!

  • Bill

    Chris McDaniel for Senate

    Cochran has been in Washington too long.
    The easiest way to tell that a man has been corrupted by power is when he is no longer able to put it down and walk away from it.

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