By Chris Kieffer
TUPELO – A crowd of about 70 people came to the Lee County Library on Tuesday night for Chris McDaniel’s town hall meeting.
McDaniel did not.
The U.S. Senate candidate’s campaign alerted media members minutes before the event was scheduled to begin that the state senator would not be able to be there. Most of those attending did not find out until about 10 minutes into the forum.
In fact, Chad McMahan, an alderman from Guntown who spoke at the beginning of the event, initially said the candidate was “running a little late.”
Then Keith Plunkett, an adviser with the campaign, said McDaniel would not make it.
“He is still on the floor of the state Legislature fighting for you,” Plunkett said, adding that McDaniel wanted to be there but couldn’t.
“On April Fools, you came for Chris McDaniel, and you get me.”
Among the issues facing Senate votes on Tuesday were bills involving religious freedom and abortion. This is the final week of the legislative session.
Plunkett still delivered McDaniel’s presentation on education and the Common Core State Standards. Other McDaniel acquaintances, including a college roommate, spoke about him in what amounted to a campaign rally.
McDaniel is challenging incumbent Thad Cochran in the June 3 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat.
Event organizers said McDaniel would make other appearances in Lee County in the near future.
He will speak to the Lee County Republicans on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Earnest B’s Barbeque.
He also is scheduled to attend a pro-gun rally in Guntown on May 17.