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Cochran, McDaniel Hit Campaign Trail Ahead of Runoff

By Evelina Burnett | Published 09 Jun 2014 09:02pm | comments
A McDaniel campaign event in Gautier

The candidates in Mississippi’s closely watched Senate runoff are hitting the campaign trail across the state. MPB’s Evelina Burnett caught up with state Senator Chris McDaniel at a campaign event in Jackson County.

McDaniel won this coastal county, home to thousands of shipbuilding jobs, by about 350 votes. Some Cochran supporters have argued the coast's shipbuilding industry would be at risk if the long-time U.S. Senator, who appears to be in line to be chair of appropriations, isn't re-elected. McDaniel calls this fear-mongering.

"My grandfather worked at the shipyards. My other grandfather used those ships to fight in the South Pacific during the Battle of Midway," said McDaniel, speaking to reporters before a campaign event in Gautier on Monday. "We have strong military connnections, we have strong shipbuilding connections. I'm going to fight for Ingalls, I'm going to fight for that industry, I'm going to fight for the military."

McDaniel supporter Larry Hammonds of Vancleave says he thinks Jackson County voters liked the Tea Party-backed candidate’s conservative values.

"If you're chairman of Appropriations, that's great," Hammonds says. "But at the debt level we have right now, where else are you going to get pork money from? Right now we're trillions of dollars in debt. We don't need more pork being brought back to us. What we need is to have someone go up there and curb spending so that we have a country left for my kids and grandkids."

Cochran was in the Delta Monday. His campaign spokesman Jordan Russell says they’ll be on the coast throughout the next two weeks and hope to win Jackson County in the runoff.

"People in Jackson County understand that without Senator Cochran, Ingalls Shipbuilding may not even be there," Russell says. "It's a critical part of our economy. Mississippi does a great service to the nation by building ships for the Navy, and Senator Cochran is in a great position to make sure that tradition continues."

The Senate Republican primary runoff is June 24. Any eligible voter can participate except those who voted in the Democratic primary last week. 

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A McDaniel campaign event in Gautier


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