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MS GOP Chairman discusses elections

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Chairman Joe Nosef repeatedly made one thing clear as he sat around the table at the GOP headquarters with reporters. He's gearing up to go to the Republican National Committee's spring meeting in Memphis that starts Wednesday.

"Y'all know that I disagree very much with the national narrative that is being painted," Nosef said.

That narrative is one of the Tea Party versus the establishment.

"It's something that I think is not the case in Mississippi," Nosef explained. "And it also frustrates me because it's hurtful to the Republican party. The fact is, out of those two groups, we need to include both of them in order to be successful."

Still, Chris McDaniel and Thad Cochran are being filed into those categories. A question that comes up frequently in discussions about the Republican party is whether it's divided.

"There's division because we have a statewide primary going on," said Nosef. "So certainly as a product of that, you're going to have people and activists who are divided. I don't think just as a basic premise that there's inherent division."

There's a bigger picture in all this for Nosef. It's an idea he'll discuss in more detail with his counterparts from other states while at the RNC spring meeting this week.

"The Republican Party has got to do a better job of showing that we are an option," he explained.

Here in Mississippi, that forces the party not to focus on just June.

"We need to win in November," Nosef said more than once.

Nosef admits he's worried about what the heated primary could do for turnout come November. That's why he's trying to get this message out there ahead of time.

"Just because it might not be your candidate, you've got to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good," he cautioned. "And to make sure that you come out and support the candidate that's the best alternative for you."

WLBT has invited Cochran and McDaniel to debate. McDaniel has accepted but Cochran has not yet responded.

Chairman Nosef says he's not surprised about that status. He thinks it would be unusual to see a debate between a long time incumbent and a new challenger.

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