Former MS Representative Enters 2014 Mississippi Senate Race   Leave a comment

About five-and-a-half months ago, I mentioned something about the 2014 Senate race in Mississippi and made reference to the possibility of a former Congressman deciding to run in the Democratic primary…guess what?

Former Rep.  Travis Childers will be announcing he’s running for the Senate seat in Mississippi, according to two sources familiar with his decision, giving Democrats a chance to capitalize on the Republican division within the state.

Childers made his decision official Friday afternoon. “I look forward to formally launching my campaign and traveling to every corner of our great state in the weeks to come. Mississippians know that I have a solid record of being an independent guy who will work across party lines and stand up to the powers that be when needed. In the U.S. Senate, I will continue to put Mississippi’s middle class first,” he said in a statement.

Childers, a Blue Dog Democrat, held a solidly Republican House seat from 2008 to 2010, proving his ability to win over conservative voters despite his Democratic affiliation. Democrats are hoping that conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel topples longtime Sen. Thad Cochran in a June primary—a development they believe will make the race highly competitive.

“He’s certainly a first-tier candidate. We expect this to be a first-tier race,” said one Mississippi-based Democratic operative. “The Republican primary is very uncertain right now, and we believe the tea-party candidate will make a strong showing.”

Childers is following a similar path to  Sen. Joe Donnelly, who jumped from the House into a 2012 Senate race against Sen. Richard Lugar in Indiana, hoping he would lose to a conservative rival. Lugar lost the primary to Richard Mourdock, whose outspoken conservatism proved out of step, even in a Republican-friendly state.(National Journal)

Now, to be fair, as I stated back in late October 2013, when the possibility first arose that Rep. Childers would jump into the race, that given Mississippi’s deep-red tinge, that it would be a long-shot victory for Democrats’, especially given that the last time a major Democrat (former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove) ran for either of the state’s two U.S. Senate seats, Musgrove got thrashed a bit by then-Rep. Roger Wicker…ironically, that left the door open for Childers to win the mid-08 special election, followed by the Nov. 2008 general election, so Democrats can still win in Mississippi…the question, though, is going to be whether national Dems’ will give Childers a shot of money and ad space to support what would be a long-shot bid.

If they’re smart (and if the polling indicates a close race), I say go for it; make Republican fight on what would admittedly be their turf; at the very least, it would force the GOP to consider spending their own money their (as opposed to other states in this election cycle). Regardless of what happens, it is good to see that Democrats are still fighting in the Magnolia State…

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Posted March 2, 2014 by Matthew in Uncategorized

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