Cochran made a campaign stop in McComb Tuesday during the final week before the June 24 Republican primary run-off against state Senator Chris McDaniel of Ellisville.
The winner of the run-off will face Democratic nominee Travis Childers in the November general election.
Cochran, along with Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, visited Keith White Ford on Veterans Boulevard to celebrate White’s successful Mississippi business and recent dealership expansion before a stop in Jackson and DeSoto County.
Reeves introduced Cochran, focusing on the impact the long-term senator has had on economic development in his home state while working in Washington.
“What Mississippians want more than anything is job creation, and bringing better and higher paying jobs to our state — jobs like those being created right here in this new facility,” Reeves said. “We have a political philosophy that says government doesn’t create jobs. Government’s role is to create an environment that encourages the private sector to invest capital and create jobs. That’s why Sen. Cochran is so important to our economic development efforts here in Mississippi.”
Cochran spoke briefly to a room full of supporters, encouraging them to remind friends and family to vote after McDaniel narrowly edged Cochran in the June 3 primary vote count.
Cochran, who was elected in 1972, has been criticized for voting too liberally for a Republican senator from a Southern state, as well as his long tenure in both U.S. House and Senate seats. However, Cochran believes his time in office, particularly as chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, has proved his importance to Mississippi.
“I have worked hard in Washington for a good while now, and I hope and believe that the benefits that have flowed to our states have not been just accidental but the result of a combined effort of state government leadership, United States Senate and House of Representatives cooperation in a team effort to move Mississippi forward,” he said. “We have learned from Haley Barbour, we have learned from others in state government positions as well as Washington positions.”
After the loss of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to tea party-backed challenger Dave Brat last week, all eyes nationwide are on Mississippi, awaiting the results of another tea party-versus-Republican establishment election.
While McDaniel has assailed federal spending and has called into question the federal government’s responsibility of funding education, Cochran said he believes the federal government should play a strong role in state and local government while still respecting the rights of each governing body.
“I’m certainly in favor of support where it’s needed. In times of drought and other disasters, our agriculture sector really needs to have the support of the federal government to withstand such events,” he said. “I think we have a pretty good sense of balance with the responsibilities of state and local governments. We get along well under our Constitution that respects the individual rights and powers of both governments.”
As Cochran continues the biggest fight for his Senate seat that he’s ever had, his supporters are stressing the importance of the race and the need for people to head to the polls next Tuesday.
“The enthusiasm is real. We’ve got an important election, and people in Mississippi realize it,” Reeves said.
“Mississippians don’t like to be told what to do. They don’t like to be told by people out of state how we ought to decide our elections. People in Mississippi are going to decide this election, and we’re going to decide it next Tuesday,” he said.
@ Enterprise-Journal — McComb, Miss.