Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 19, 2014

Club for Growth Stands With Cochran Challenger

The Club for Growth reiterated its support for state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s GOP bid for Senate in Mississippi, hours after longtime Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced he will seek a seventh term.

“Senator Cochran … is a strong supporter of wasteful earmarks — something that is opposed by Republican leaders in both the Senate and the House. Mississippi voters will make the final judgment as to whether it is time for a change,” Club for Growth President and former Rep. Chris Chocola, R-Ind., said in a release.

“The Club for Growth PAC believes that State Senator Chris McDaniel is a constitutional conservative who will fight to repeal ObamaCare, cut spending, and stop President Obama’s reckless agenda,” Chocola added. “The Club for Growth PAC looks forward to strongly supporting his candidacy for the United States Senate.”

The club’s hearty support for McDaniel signals an ugly GOP primary in Mississippi, and keeps Cochran at the top of the list of GOP senators facing tough primaries in the midterm cycle. McDaniel announced his challenge to Cochran in October and quickly picked up endorsements from the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth.

Before Cochran’s re-election announcement on Friday, his interest in running for re-election was in doubt. His fundraising has been subpar, bringing in only $53,000 in the last reporting period. He had about $800,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

Mississippi GOP power brokers openly acknowledge the state’s dependence on federal funds will help Cochran shore up support from Republicans in Mississippi. Cochran’s seniority and seat on the Appropriations Committee is considered by many in the state GOP to be an economic lifeline for the impoverished state.

In a September CQ Roll Call article, GOP operatives promised to throw all but the kitchen sink at McDaniel should he run against Cochran.

Mississippi’s Senate race is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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