/Sen Roger Wicker may be drawing a crowd of challengers

Sen Roger Wicker may be drawing a crowd of challengers

Baria, a Bay St. Louis state representative, said to Mississippi Today that he would seriously consider running for the seat if McDaniel challenges Wicker in the Republican primaries. Update: President Donald Trump endorses Wicker’s re-election McDaniel asked his supporters to visit his Facebook page Monday night for information about his decision. Multiple media reports claimed that McDaniel will officially kick off his bid at a rally at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville on Wednesday. “We are looking for a fight. McDaniel stated during the Facebook livestream that he couldn’t wait for him to join his team again. McDaniel said that he would be hosting an event and you could probably see the reasons. “My family and I want to invite you to this event – an announcement that we believe will change our view of ourselves and government’s role.” Baria also noted that he has to make a decision by the end of the week. Baria stated Monday that he believes it takes a unique dynamic to see a path for a Democrat to win 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 stated that he had spoken with Sen. Chris Van Hollen (chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee), about a possible Senate bid. Also, Baria spoke with Democratic Sen. Doug Jones who defeated Roy Moore, an anti-establishment candidate, in late 2017. Baria stated that he is also thinking about running for the seat of Sen. ThadCochran if it becomes vacant in 2018. “Sen. Jones shared with me that (in 2017), he had a great team and that if I ever became interested in it, I should speak with people from his team,” Baria stated. McDaniel’s announcement for Wicker’s seat means that the two Republicans will have to fight for Wicker’s heart for three months. This is in stark contrast to winning the fall general election in recent years. Wicker has been busy. He has already been endorsed by President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), and other supporters. He has also been increasing his social media presence and running political ads. McDaniel (40) first rose to political prominence when he nearly defeated long-time senator Thad Cochran. McDaniel won more votes than Cochran, but only a fraction of the majority in the primary. However, Cochran got more votes in a third-week runoff to become the party nominee. This allowed him to coast to another term in general election. McDaniel refused to concede the election for months, losing in court. McDaniel is an attorney who was first elected to the state Senate back in 2008. He is now the latest candidate to challenge the party’s Washington power structures. Faced with challenges from the right several GOP senators in other States have declared that they won’t seek re-election. However, not all efforts have been successful. Alabama’s conservative firebrand Roy Moore defeated incumbent U.S. Senator Luther Strange in the GOP primaries, but lost to Doug Jones in general election. This unexpectedly reduced the party’s Senate majority to 51 senators. McDaniel’s campaign will be given a lot of national attention. It will also receive substantial financial backing by national GOP mega-donors like Dick Uihlein and Robert Mercer, which helped fund Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Each donor donated $500,000 to McDaniel’s super PAC last fiscal year. McDaniel quietly has been preparing for the Wicker challenge for months. Steve Bannon, a former Trump political advisor, encouraged him to run. However, he has come under fire from conservatives for his criticisms of Trump. McDaniel’s facebook page, which has more likes than Wicker’s, serves as the hub of his base and features multiple posts by McDaniel every day. McDaniel has criticized Wicker for his “liberal voting record” as well as his inability to collaborate with other Senate Republicans to repeal Obamacare Act. McDaniel also gained support from conservatives when he highlighted Wicker’s desire for a change to the state flag, the only one in the country that displays the Confederate battle emblem. McDaniel stated earlier this year that Mississippi will show his record to Mississippi. McDaniel stated that Wicker’s ability to attach himself to Trump in the past six months in a race that has been ongoing for 25 years is a sign that Wicker is more loyal to Mississippi than to Mitch McConnell. “His voting record is a clear indicator of that,” McDaniel added. Wicker is close to the March 1 qualifying deadline and has already announced several endorsements, one of which was from Rick Santorum (a former presidential candidate, former U.S. senator, Pennsylvania). Wicker, sensing McDaniel’s challenge, has also run advertisements on TV and social media matching his voting record with Trump’s policies. Wicker’s campaign committee, along with affiliated political action committees, had raised approximately $5.5 million by January 1. Wicker also reported total cash on-hand of $4.4million. Wicker was also praised by Republican party activists across the country for his leadership in keeping the Republican majority in Congress during the 2016 election cycle. A pro-McDaniel super PAC, Remember Mississippi PAC, raised over $1 million in 2017. This included donations from Mercer (and Uihlein) Remember Mississippi had approximately $1.2 million in cash at the beginning of the year. In recent months, signs stating “Chris McDaniel to U.S. Senate”, which were left over from 2014, have been seen on roads and at well-attended events throughout the state. McDaniel maintained that these efforts were made by his supporters and not an official campaign. McDaniel, in unofficial campaign stops and speeches throughout the state, has criticized Wicker’s leadership style as well as his partnership with Republican leaders such McConnell. McDaniel stated, “We’ve tried Roger Wicker’s way for 100 year.” McDaniel said, “We’ve always used our seniority to drawdown federal funds, but for 100 years we have remained dead last following their playbook.” We suggest it’s time for someone else to try.” Baria (55), is a lawyer who heads the Democratic caucus of the Mississippi House. Baria was previously a senator in the state. Baria answered a question about his fundraising: “I have no commitments from anyone, except the person who wrote me $250 when she learned I was running.” That’s all I have. My wife and my partner in law are willing partners. I have my desire to see the world change. That’s all. That’s what I understand. My friend, who was a state representative for many years, said that you cannot win if your not willing to try. If you have enough money, you can purchase name ID. It’s just about spending the money.” Baria would be facing Jensen Bohren, a Democratic candidate. Bohren qualified earlier in the year and registered a campaign team with the Federal Election Commission. The 34-year-old, with no previous political experience, lists his platform issues via a Twitter account.