Senator Thad Cochran was campaigning on the Coast Thursday. The runoff election between Cochran and Chris McDaniel is less than one week away, and many of the movers and shakers here on the Coast are throwing their support behind the incumbent.
During his visit to the Coast, Cochran emphasized what his senior position on the Appropriations Committee means for south Mississippi. He started off his visit Thursday in Gulfport, where he met with school superintendents along the Coast. Thursday, Senator Cochran emphasized what his senior position on the Appropriations Committee means for south Mississippi.
He started off his visit to the Coast in Gulfport, where he met with school superintendents along the Coast. Many of the superintendents praised Cochran for his part in channeling $800 million of federal funds into the state’s public schools. Cochran says, “I think the department provides general guidelines that are helpful to a lot of schools districts, but I don’t think we outta’ turn our school districts over to the federal Department of Education.”
According to the Associated Press, Cochran’s opponent, Chris McDaniel, has said that the federal Department of Education is not constitutional. Cochran also says, “Well, there would be fewer dollars available to hire well qualified teachers. You would be limited in terms of numbers of teachers who would be willing to accept less pay.”
After Cochran’s stop Thursday in Gulfport, he went on to Pass Christian Harbor, where he received endorsements from two local mayors as well as from former congressman, Gene Taylor. Taylor says, “We were fortunate to have Thad Cochran as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee when so many bridges were destroyed, the roads were destroyed, so many schools were destroyed. This area would have never recovered had we had to count on the State of Mississippi or local funds. These communities would’ve been bankrupt trying to replace all those things.”
Many of the Coast's top leaders tell News 25 they are not ready for Mississippi to lose a senior position in the Senate. William Skellie, the Mayor of Long Beach, says, “I feel like that to turn him out would be like punishing him for being excellent, and I just couldn’t do that.”
Both candidates have received a number of big name endorsements, so at this point, it's all in the hands of the voters. The runoff will be held this coming Tuesday, June 24th.