WATER VALLEY – Voters will return to the polls Tuesday for the Republican Senate Primary runoff in one of the state’s most heated races in recent history involving a longtime incumbent senator.
Senator Thad Cochran is campaigning to keep his seat, a position he has held since 1978, while Tea Party backed state senator Chris McDaniel is looking for an upset. McDaniel has served as a member of the state senate since 2008
Less than 1,500 votes separated the men in the June 3 primary after a third candidate received enough votes to push the race into a runoff.
In Yalobusha County Cochran narrowly led the ticket, receiving 585 votes, 37 more votes than McDaniel. Just over 23 percent of the county’s registered voters participated in the June 3 primary, with 1,139 voters choosing a Republican ballot and 810 voters cast their mark on the Democratic ticket.
“There are clear distinctions in the candidates,” reports Jenny Beth Martin Chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund in a press release to the Herald. “While a 41-year incumbent Senator has the backing of elites in Washington and the Republican establishment, the people of Mississippi want a change in direction. They want a Senator who fights to control spending and the looming federal debt. They want a Senator who will fight to overturn Obamacare and will vote against amnesty. They want a Senator who puts the people of Mississippi and their futures ahead of backroom deals and exemptions for themselves.”
Among members of the established Republican party backing Cochran is Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.
“Senator Cochran is a pioneer of the Mississippi Republican Party and has been instrumental in helping with my efforts to grow the economy and provide jobs for thousands of Mississippians,” said Gov. Bryant. “After Hurricane Katrina, Thad dedicated his time and influence to our state’s recovery efforts as we rebuilt from the nation’s largest natural disaster. Our state has benefited from Senator Cochran’s leadership for over three decades. In today’s political environment, we need this experience for Mississippi’s future,” he added.
Other top state officials publicly endorsing Cochran include Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, Congressman Gregg Harper, Congressman Alan Nunnelee, State Auditor Stacey Pickering and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.
Tips To Voters
Absentee ballots are available in the Circuit Clerk’s office for voters who will be out of town, are disabled, or are 65 years or older. If you are disabled, you may request a ballot by contacting the Circuit Clerk’s office. The deadline for voting absentee in person in the Circuit Clerks office is noon on Saturday, June 21. The deadline to mail an absentee ballot to the Circuit Clerk’s office is 5 p.m. on Monday, June 23.
Both the Water Valley and Coffeeville courthouses will be open until noon on Saturday for absentee voting.
On voting day the 11 precincts across the county open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
The June 3 primary marked the first time Mississippi voters were required to show a photo ID to vote.
Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann reported 99.9 percent of Mississippians cast their ballot by showing an ID.
Voters who did not have an ID on election day were able to vote affidavit, and return to the courthouse within seven days after the election with a photo ID for their vote to count. According to Hosemann, only 300 voters out of 400,000 voters failed to return within seven days to verify their affidavit ballot.
Of that 300, five were from Yalobusha County according to Circuit Clerk Daryl Burney.