Cochran takes Chickasaw, will face McDaniel in June 24 runoff

news-politics-election-stockHOUSTON – Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran won Chickasaw County, but not the race as Mississippi Republican voters will now head back to the polls for the June 24 runoff between Cochran and Chris McDaniel.

Cochran’s opponent Chris McDaniel held a slight lead in statewide voting, at 49.46 percent of the Republican Primary vote and Cochran, a six-term incumbent, garnered 49.02 percent in a very close race. Cochran took 54.19 percent of the vote in Chickasaw County with McDaniel tallying 44.86 percent.

Democratic Senatorial candidate Travis Childers easily won his state primary with 74.1 percent of the vote. Childers took 87.97 percent of the vote in Chickasaw County.

Tea Party favorite McDaniel, of Ellisville, held an ever-so-slight slight lead over Cochran in Mississippi’s Republican senatorial primary Wednesday morning. Thomas Carey, the little-known third candidate garnered only 4,789 ballots or 1.53 percent, to force the runoff.

To win the nomination, a candidate must garner 50 percent, plus one vote. As of Wednesday morning 99.5 percent of the state’s precincts had reported results.

The latest totals had 313,483 ballots cast in the Republican Primary last week. There are 11,719 registered voters in Chickasaw County and 2,120 votes were cast in both the Republican and Democratic primary.

South East Okolona was once again the last precinct in Chickasaw County to report. That box arrived at the Chickasaw County Courthouse at 10:15 p.m. South East only had 165 ballots cast Tuesday.

“We couldn’t get the signature book and the ballots to match up,” said Lisa Hyken. “We counted them over and over.”

This was the first time Mississippi had required voter ID in an election, but Hyken said that was not a problem. All Chickasaw County voting is done by electronic voting machine. Most precincts were finished and had reported by 8 p.m. Polls closed at 7 p.m.

Tuesday’s race was one of the closest major statewide races in history.

Chickasaw County Circuit Clerk assistant, Cassandra Pulliam said Mississippi does not allow crossover voting and the Republican runoff will be closed to anyone who voted as a Democrat last week. Those who voted in the Republican primary can vote again in the runoff. She said anyone who did not vote in the Primary Election June 3 can vote as a Republican in the runoff.

As expected McDaniel ran strong in his home county of Jones and around south Mississippi and traditional GOP DeSoto County. He also ran well on the Gulf Coast.

Cochran’s power base appeared to be the Delta and Tupelo. He won the majority of Northeast Mississippi counties.

Cochran, a Pontotoc County native, was first elected to the U.S. House in 1972, representing the Jackson area and southwest Mississippi. In 1978 he won with a plurality of the vote the Senate seat left open by the retirement of longtime incumbent Jim Eastland. In 1984, he won re-election with about 60 percent of the vote against former Gov. William Winter.

After that, the congenial Cochran never faced a serious challenge – until this election.





Here are the latest, unofficial returns from Mississippi and Chickasaw County in the Republican and Democratic primaries for U.S. Senate.


U.S. Senate GOP – Primary

1,828 of 1,832 precincts – 99.8 percent

r-Chris McDaniel 155,040 – 49.46 percent

r-Thad Cochran (i) 153,654 – 49.02 percent

Thomas Carey 4,789 – 1.53 percent


U.S. Senate Dem – Primary

1,828 of 1,832 precincts – 99.8 percent

x-Travis Childers 62,545 – 74.2 percent

Bill Marcy 10,134 – 12.0 percent

William Compton 8,261 – 9.8 percent

Jonathan Rawl 3,399 – 4.0 percent



U.S. Senate GOP – Primary

15 of 15 precincts – 100 percent

x-Thad Cochran (i) 685 – 54.19 percent

Chris McDaniel 567 – 44.86 percent

Thomas Carey 12 – 0.95 percent


U.S. Senate Dem – Primary

15 of 15 precincts – 100 percent

x-Travis Childers 746 – 87.97 percent

Bill Marcy 65 – 7.67 percent

William Compton 30 – 3.54 percent

Jonathan Rawl 7 – 0.83 percent

Totals are not official until canvassed by their respective parties


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