Miss. Dem launches Senate bid against Wicker

Miss. Dem launches Senate bid against Wicker

Mississippi state House minority leader Democrat David Baria launched a long-shot bid for his state's Senate seat on Wednesday, hours after Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerTrump signs executive order to boost AI technology Hillicon Valley: Feds looking into Bezos claims about National Enquirer | Amazon reconsidering New York City HQ2 move | Sprint sues AT&T over 5G marketing claims Senate to hold hearing on potential privacy bill MORE (R-Miss.) also drew a primary challenger. 

Baria's Wednesday announcement, which was first reported by Missisippi Today, gives Democrats a candidate with some profile in a deep-red state they aren't expected to win.

“I want to give voters a true choice, and I plan to spend the campaign listening to voters and working hard to earn their trust,” Baria said in a statement. 
 
Democrats face long odds winning any statewide office in Mississippi. Aside from a Democratic attorney general, Republicans hold every other top office in the state. 
 
But Baria's announcement puts a Democratic candidate with political experience in the race, offering Democrats a chance to pick up the seat in case of a massive Democratic wave.
 
 
Baria pointed in his interview to the Wednesday decision by Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite who sparked controversy during his 2014 Senate bid, to run against Wicker as a potential opening for the Democrats. 
 
“I think it takes a somewhat unique dynamic to see a path of victory for a Democrat in a U.S. Senate race in Mississippi,” Baria said. “In a vacuum, Chris McDaniel getting in against Wicker creates the kind of dynamic that leads me to believe that might be achievable.”
 
The 2014 primary between McDaniel and Sen. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranTop 5 races to watch in 2019 Bottom Line Races Dems narrowly lost show party needs to return to Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy MORE (R-Miss.) turned ugly, with both sides lobbing allegations of racism and dog-whistle politics at one another, while a McDaniel supporter was arrested for posting private pictures taken of Cochran's wife in a nursing home. McDaniel refused to concede the race when he lost by a narrow margin in the runoff, claiming voter fraud. 
 
Democrats would need everything to break right for a shot in the Senate race, and it's not clear whether McDaniel winning the primary would hurt Republican chances to hold the seat.