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Miss. GOP Senate Candidates Face Likely Runoff

June 4, 2014 by staff 

Miss. GOP Senate Candidates Face Likely Runoff, Locked in a race that won’t end, Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran and tea party-backed challenger Chris McDaniel pointed toward a possible June 24 run-off after battling to a near-draw Tuesday in a primary that underscored Republican differences.

Unofficial returns from 98 percent of the state’s precincts showed McDaniel with slightly over 49 percent of the vote in a three-way race and Cochran with slightly less. It takes a majority by one candidate to avoid a run-off.

“For too long, we’ve been silent. For too long, we sat still. For too long, we let them have their way with us,” McDaniel told supporters late Tuesday in a slap at the Washington establishment.

“It’s looking like a runoff,” conceded Rep. Gregg Harper, addressing a crowd of Cochran supporters.

The Mississippi contest easily overshadowed races in seven other states, several of which of which sent GOP establishment-backed candidates into fall campaigns for Senate seats that Republicans have targeted in their drive to gain six seats and a majority.

State Sen. Joni Ernst overwhelmed her rivals in Iowa, easily surpassing the 35 percent total needed to win the nomination outright. She will take on Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley this fall for a Senate seat long in Democratic hands.

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