JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - Republican incumbent United States Senator Thad Cochran is headed back to Washington, D.C. for a seventh term after defeating Democrat Travis Childers Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press.
Cochran is expected to be named Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee if the Republican Party gains a majority in the Senate after Tuesday's midterm elections. However, the balance of power in the Senate may not be determined- possibly for several weeks- if battleground states such as Louisiana, Colorado and Georgia go into a runoff election.
Sen. Cochran was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978. He defended the seat against then-candidate and now former Governor William Winter in 1984. Cochran has had strong victories each election since, until Tea Party-backed candidate and state senator Chris McDaniel ran against him in the 2014 Republican primary.
Although McDaniel lead the primary, neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote needed to claim the nomination. Cochran returned to the runoff three weeks later to claim a victory. Despite legal challenges that traveled all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court by McDaniel that claimed Cochran "stole" the election with cross over votes and "race baiting," the long-time senator ran a successful re-election campaign, backed by every statewide elected Republican.