The 2014 GOP Primary for the US Senate seat featured longtime incumbent Thad Cochran against upstart State Senator Chris McDaniel. The presence of a third candidate meant that a runoff would be possible in this race, which is what came to pass. This race pitted establishment GOP against dissatisfied Tea Partyers.
The discussion, featuring Austin Barbour who worked on the Cochran campaign, will take place at noon today at the Clinton School.
Few gave McDaniel, a favorite of the Tea Party, much chance of unseating Cochran, but he gradually chipped away at the veteran’s lead until the race became a virtual dead heat. Trying to avoid repeats of 2010 and 2012 when undisciplined candidates won nominations but lost the general election, the national GOP joined state leaders in coalescing around Cochran.
The primary was also beset by scandals involving supporters of McDaniel and charges of Democratic party interference. For those on the sidelines it made interesting fodder, but for those in the race it was anything but funny.
Austin Barbour is the nephew of former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and a key strategist for Senator Thad Cochran’s successful primary defeat of challenger State Senator Chris McDaniel. Most recently, Barbour has been recognized as one of the nation’s top fundraisers through his positions as one of the National Finance Chairmen for Romney for President in 2012 and a member of the National Finance committee for the Republican Governor’s Association. Barbour runs a consultancy based in Jackson, Miss. with his brother, Henry.
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