MISSISSIPPI | MS-sen

Bryant Not Interested in Cochran's Seat

McConnell and Trump want him to succeed the senator.

Feb. 2, 2018, 10:39 a.m.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is not interested in replacing Sen. Thad Cochran (R), “despite urging from President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

The Washington Post reported “Thursday night that McConnell met with Bryant this week and asked the governor to appoint himself in the event that ... Cochran stepped down in the coming months.”

Sources said “Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) would be the leading candidate if Cochran steps down. Reeves is expected to run for governor next year.”

“While it was once thought” state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) “would challenge Sen. Roger Wicker (R) in this year’s GOP primary, the state senator’s multiple delays in announcing his plans have led most political watchers to believe he has settled on waiting for Cochran’s seat to become open, even if that is in 2020. Bryant has quietly been considering options for Cochran’s replacement for months. Several people close to the governor have said one of the biggest considerations is appointing someone who could defeat McDaniel in a special election.”

“Rep. Gregg Harper (R-03) was once thought to be the leading candidate to replace Cochran, but that seemed to change last year as concerns grew over whether he could beat McDaniel in a statewide race. … Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) is another possibility.” (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

MORE ON MCDANIEL. “In an interview Thursday, McDaniel said he postponed his decision ‘because of the multiple options’ before him.”

McDaniel: “It’s a really fortunate time for me and I’m incredibly blessed to have these options.”

“McDaniel said pursuing Cochran’s seat is an ‘attractive possibility,’ assuming that changes are made in his seat.”

“Under Mississippi election law, a resignation by Cochran in the coming months would trigger a special election for the seat to be held on Nov. 6. Unlike the regular election for Wicker’s seat, candidates for the Cochran seat would not compete in a primary, and if no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in November, the top two finishers would face off in a runoff.” (Washington Post)

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