HOUSTON – Senatorial candidate Chris McDaniel is trying to visit ten towns a day in his campaign to unseat longtime incumbent Senator Thad Cochran, and Thursday, one of those stops was Houston.
McDaniel dropped in Moore’s Restaurant in Houston and worked the room shaking hands and sitting down in booths with those eating breakfast, asking each person to vote for him in the June 24 runoff and asking voters their views on issues.
“I’m tired of the status quo and nobody is making any effort to balance the budget or deal with Obamacare,” said Jim Gunter, of Tupelo, after McDaniel stopped at his booth. “We need a fresh approach and we need fresh politicians in Washington.”
McDaniel is the only candidate in the Senate race to visit Houston this year.
McDaniel stood by his statement of two weeks ago saying the federal government should get out of education.
“My wife is a school teacher, my mother was an educator and I am a product of public education and a strong supporter of public education,” said McDaniel. “But it is none of Washington’s business what local schools teach our children. That’s why I oppose Common Core and that is why I am for doing away with the federal Department of Education.”
McDaniel said the Department of Education has $69 billion budget for 2015 and the Senate could send those dollars to the states in the form of block grants and education allocations.
On immigration reform McDaniel said he would never vote for amnesty for those in the country illegally.
“In this day and age when so many are on public benefits and so many Americans are looking for a job I think we need to create a nationwide database that would utilize labor and could send people from place to place,” said McDaniel. “I am for closing the borders and enforcing the law.”
And what about voters who feel McDaniel’s views are too far right for Mississippi?
“They said that about Ronald Reagan and said he didn’t have a chance,” said McDaniel. “I’m a Republican and I am a conservative.
“There is nothing extreme about wanting to balance the budget,” he added. “There is nothing wrong with adhering to the Constitution and there is nothing radical about respecting family and religious values.”
McDaniel started Thursday’s tour in Grenada with stops in Calhoun City, Houston, Mathiston, Ackerman, Starkville and Columbus. McDaniel ran strong in south Mississippi, the central part of the state and Republican red northwest Mississippi. The primary election saw Cochran run well in the Delta and conservative Northeast Mississippi.
McDaniel is expected to be in Tupelo this week.
McDaniel was seen as a long shot when he announced for the post in the fall of 2013.
Cochran, a nearly-36 year Senate incumbent, actually lost the statewide popular vote to McDaniel in the recent primary. Cochran did garner 54 percent of the vote in Chickasaw County.
McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite, has stirred conservative Republicans with promises of fiscal integrity and stewardship along with constant quotes that he will go to Washington and dismantle the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
Sen. Cochran, 78, has become an influential Republican moderate in Washington since he was elected to the Senate in 1978. Cochran is currently the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Sen. Cochran is in line to be the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee should the Republican Party retake the Senate.