Tea Party Energized by Victory in Virginia

By: Courtney Ann Jackson Email
By: Courtney Ann Jackson Email

Jackson, Miss. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss in has sent shock waves across the country. And Mississippi's Chris McDaniel and his supporters look at it as fuel to the fire.

McDaniel led a 3-way race June 3 for the Republican nomination for u.S. Senate. He forced longtime incumbent Thad Cochran to a runoff June 24.

"It energizes the conservatives all across the country," said McDaniel. "This is a big time for us."

The impact on Mississippi's runoff election? Well, that answer varies depending on which candidate you ask.

"I believe it reverberates with every state in the republic," McDaniel said. "And, yes, it will have an impact here. Our people in Mississippi that you saw last Tuesday night are likewise awake."

The Mississippi Tea Party president agrees Virginia can be a model.

"Now people can actually see that we can take our country back to actually lawful and constitutional governance," said Laura Van Overschelde. "And that's what we're looking for."

When asked about the Tea Party momentum, Sen. Thad Cochran tried to draw out some common ground.

"I'm concerned about the direction of the country too," Cochran said. "It's just we have different ideas about how to deal with it."

Cochran made campaign stops throughout the state Wednesday. He avoided making any links to similarities between his runoff race and Eric Cantor's loss.

"I, like a lot of people, were surprised by the margin of victory for his opponent but that happens in politics," said Cochran.

Cochran said he thinks he'll pull off a victory June 24. His focus is on reminding voters about his service to the state.

"I think it's a competition for ideas now as exactly in the reelection campaign, whether you want somebody with experience in helping support our state and its needs or someone who's trying to tear down the federal government just for the sake of tearing it down," said Cochran.

McDaniel has criticized Cochran's record on taxes and spending, as well as Obamacare. He says Sen. Cochran has been spending recklessly for a long time.


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