Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranBottom line Bottom line Alabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future MORE (R-Miss.), a veteran Republican facing a conservative primary challenge, passed this weekend his self-imposed deadline on announcing whether he would seek reelection.

According to a WTVA report from early November, Cochran had planned to announce at the end of November whether he would seek a seventh term in 2014.


Cochran spokesman Chris Gallegos later walked that back, telling the Associated Press that while the senator will make his decision in November, he hasn't set a timeline on when he'll announce that decision.

The holiday weekend came and went with no word from Cochran.

On Monday, Gallegos again gave no timeline for the senator's decision.

"At this point, the Senator has not indicated what his decision might be or when it might be announced," he said in an email to The Hill.

The second most-senior Republican senator faces a primary challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who has nabbed the endorsements of a number of prominent national conservative groups.

Republicans in the state are watching closely to see what the incumbent decides. If he does retire, there's likely to be a wide and competitive GOP primary. One prominent potential Republican contender, Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, has said he'd launch a bid if the seat opens up.

On the Democratic side, former Rep. Travis Childers has said he'd run if Cochran retires.