Cochran, McDaniel go into runoff - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'It's looking like a runoff' in Miss. Senate Republican race

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Some called it the race of a lifetime for six-term Republican Mississippi Sen. Cochran. Some called it the race of a lifetime for six-term Republican Mississippi Sen. Cochran.
As state senator, McDaniel fought for private property rights and introduced the Firearms Freedom Protection Act during his seven years in office. As state senator, McDaniel fought for private property rights and introduced the Firearms Freedom Protection Act during his seven years in office.
JACKSON, MS -
(WMC) - The fight in the Mississippi Senate Republican race will continue after both incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran and his tea party opponent Chris McDaniel failed to win a simple majority vote in Tuesday's election.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cochran reached 152,267 votes (49 percent) and McDaniel has 154,003 (50 percent). The runoff election for Cochran and McDaniel will be June 24.

Some called it the race of a lifetime for six-term Republican Mississippi Sen. Cochran, who campaigned with a promise to leverage his senate seniority to garner federal help for the state. The 76-year-old senator advocates for policies that will broaden the state's agriculture and economic development, among other issues.

"It's looking like a runoff," said Congressman Greg Harper at Cochran's headquarters shortly before midnight. "It's been a spirited campaign, but we want to remember there are important issues that decide what's best for Mississippi."

As state senator, McDaniel fought for private property rights and introduced the Firearms Freedom Protection Act during his seven years in office.

"This is a historic moment in this state's history," said McDaniel, addressing an applauding audience. "And because of your hard work, because of your dedication, we sit here [Tuesday night] leading a 42-year incumbent. But our fight is not over. Remember, it is about the people. It's always been about the people, and there is still a handful out there that haven't been counted."

The contest to win Mississippi's Republican nomination for the U.S. senate seat caught national attention because it gave the tea party a shot.

According to the Associated Press, the race was arguably this year's last good chance for the tea party wing of the party to topple an establishment favorite in a Senate primary, following losses in Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky.

In addition, so-called attack ads hit the airwaves between Cochran and McDaniel after a photo scandal involving the incumbent senator's wife, who suffers from dementia.

By the time the polls opened on Tuesday, super PACS had pumped $8.4 million into the race--$7 million was spent on TV ads. Leading up to the runoff election, the money watch will continue.

WMC Action News 5 will continue to keep track of the race until the election at the end of June.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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