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Senator Pickering? State Auditor Says He Will Run if Cochran Retires

JACKSON, Miss.–Add another name to the big list of candidates for U.S. Senate: State Auditor Stacey Pickering, but that’s only if current U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R) decides to retire. Pickering said Tuesday on the Paul Gallo Radio Show on SuperTalk Mississippi that if Cochran is out, then he will be tossing his hat in.

“If he does decide to retire, and he has served Mississippi and our nation so well, especially on the Farm Bill and as chair of Appropriations, protecting our military bases and agriculture and so many things that are important to Mississippi, I will be announcing a campaign to run for the U.S. Senate,” said Pickering.

He said he will not challenge Cochran, should he decide to run again. Pickering said he campaigned for Cochran during his first Senate run.

“My uncle (Judge Charles Pickering) and senator Cochran had a Republican primary against each other in the 70s. Once he won that primary, I was campaigning for him, putting bumper stickers on cars at fish fries and events all across south Mississippi.”

Cochran has been in office since 1978. Some have speculated that he may announce his retirement and he said that he would make a decision by the end of November. He did not say when he might make that decision public.

Sec. of State Delbert Hosemann (R) has also said he will run for the seat if Cochran retires.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) has said he is running, regardless.

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP), put Auditor Pickering at five percent, behind McDaniel (who lead at 25 percent), Hosemann (23 percent), and Congressmen Harper, Palazzo and Nunnelee. Those polled only favored Pickering over Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (three percent).

Mississippi’s Democratic Party has also said it will run a strong candidate for the seat, but have not thrown out any names publicly.


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