Baria signed his qualifying papers just a few hours after Chris McDaniel, arch-conservative, announced that he would challenge Wicker in the primary. He also shared his plans with Mississippi Today. Baria, D-Bay St. Louis said Wednesday in a statement that he wanted to make voters a choice. Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, has been a member of the state House since 2012 and served as minority leader since 2016. Baria previously served one term in the state Senate. He had discussed the possibility of running. McDaniel made a strong hint about his bid to run for Wicker’s seat on Monday. Baria said that McDaniel could offer a unique dynamic for a Democrat in the race and could help him win. Baria stated Monday afternoon that it took a unique dynamic for a Democrat to see a path to victory in a U.S. Senate election in Mississippi. “In a vacuum Chris McDaniel getting into against Wicker creates a kind of dynamic that leads us to believe that that might be possible.” Baria’s candidacy will likely draw comparisons with the 2017 Alabama Senate race. Alabama’s conservative firebrand Roy Moore defeated Luther Strange, the incumbent U.S. Senator, in the GOP primary. However, Jones lost the general election to Doug Jones, reducing the party’s Senate majority to 51 senators. Baria said earlier this week that Jones had offered to connect Baria with campaign staff from his 2017 campaign. Baria said that he spoke with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) about a possible Senate bid. Baria, a Gulf Coast attorney, has led Democrats in Congress under the first ever Republican super-majority. The legislative process was largely closed to Democrats in 2016, which led to intense drama, infighting, and even legal battles within this lower chamber. Baria worked with Philip Gunn, Republican House Speaker, to calm the waters by 2017. Baria and Gunn negotiated office space and weekly meetings as part of the agreement. Baria has spoken out against Republican leadership on a number of issues, including large corporate tax cuts that were given over seven years. The Clarion-Leger reported that Baria will face Howard Sherman, the husband of Sela Ward. Sherman, a venture capitalist, has lived in California as well as New York. Jensen Bohlen is a lesser-known candidate who was registered with the Federal Election Commission to form a campaign committee. The 34-year old, with no previous political experience, lists his platform issues via a Twitter account. The Republican and Democratic primaries will take place June 5th, and the general election will take place Nov. 6.