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Hyde-Smith collects $1.6M; McDaniel unveils list of policies

July 12, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The same day an appointed U.S. senator in Mississippi said she has raised more than $1.6 million in campaign cash, one of her opponents released a list of policy positions.

Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel said his “Contract With Mississippi” is designed to make the state “freer, safer and more prosperous.” In it, he pledges to reduce federal regulations, protect gun rights, support conservative judicial nominees and fight any reduction Social Security benefits.

“I want to be held accountable,” McDaniel said as he unveiled the document during a news conference at the state Capitol.

Republican Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith’s campaign released her latest finance information Thursday, days ahead of candidates’ Sunday deadline to report April-through-June fundraising.

“This report shows the broad support she has received for the work she is doing, such as securing our borders, strengthening our military, reducing the debt and confirming conservative judges,” Hyde-Smith campaign spokeswoman Melissa Scallan said in a statement.

Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith, who was state agriculture commissioner, to succeed longtime Sen. Thad Cochran when he retired in April. She faces three challengers, including McDaniel, in a nominally nonpartisan Nov. 6 special election. A runoff would be Nov. 25. The winner serves the final two years of the term.

Mississippi does not list party labels on special election ballots, and there are no party primaries.

With the support of tea party groups, McDaniel nearly unseated Cochran in the 2014 Republican primary. Also running in the special election are Democrat Mike Espy, who was elected to the U.S. House from Mississippi in 1986 and became President Bill Clinton’s first agriculture secretary in 1993; and Democrat Tobey Bartee, a Gautier city councilman.

Scallan said the Hyde-Smith campaign had no response to McDaniel’s “Contract With Mississippi.”

McDaniel said Thursday that he believes his fundraising is strong, and he will release details after the deadline. Through March 31, he reported $99,290 in contributions and said he had loaned his campaign $55,000.

Espy and Bartee have not filed finance reports. Hyde-Smith’s campaign said details about top donors will be available after the deadline.


Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter at http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .

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