Thad Cochran wins U.S. Senate race in Mississippi

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JACKSON, Miss. — The AP projects incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran will keep his seat.

He faced off with former north Mississippi Democratic Congressman Travis Childers and Reform Party candidate Shawn O’Hara.

In the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff earlier this year, Cochran narrowly defeated challenger Chris McDaniel, who easily won in DeSoto County with close to 70 percent of the vote. Supporters of both blamed low voter turnout for sending them to a runoff.

The contest between the two was closely watched, since McDaniel is a tea party member and Cochran has held onto his seat for 42 years.

Leading up to the primary, both ran attack ads. Some even say the race for this U.S. Senate seat has been one of the nastiest campaign battles in history.

Things heated up when four McDaniel supporters were charged with felonies for trying to take a picture of Cochran’s wife, who is in a nursing home and suffers from dementia. Soon after, a field worker for the Cochran campaign was fired for allegedly stealing McDaniel signs.

After Cochran’s victory, McDaniel filed an election contest, which was dismissed by a lower court. He appealed, but the Mississippi State Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s decision on grounds the contest wasn’t filed within 21 days. You can read the full ruling here.

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