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3 candidates for Cochran’s US Senate seat officially qualify

April 20, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Three top candidates have filed official qualifying papers to pursue Mississippi’s U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Thad Cochran.

The Secretary of State’s office says former state Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith filed papers Friday. Hyde-Smith is a Republican appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant to take Cochran’s place until the November election.

Election officials say Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy of Ridgeland filed papers Thursday. They’re both Democrats.

Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who sought to defeat Cochran in a 2014 primary, has also signaled he’ll run.

Candidates have until Tuesday to qualify.

Candidates will all run together in a Nov. 6 election when party labels won’t be on the ballot. A runoff will be Nov. 27 if needed.

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