Thursday, October 17, 2013

Battle Lines Being Drawn in GOP Civil War

Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville)
Earlier today, in front of friends, constituents, and supporters, state Senator Chris McDaniel announced his bid for the Republican nomination in next year's United States Senate election. While McDaniel's campaign enjoyed their time in the headlines, a war has broken out which will test many political and personal friendships.

We already saw Marshall County Republicans declare their opposition to the incumbent McDaniel is challenging. In fact, McDaniel will soon speak at an event hosted by Marshall County Republicans. That was just the beginning.

Take state Senator Josh Harkins (R-Flowood), for instance. Josh is a member of the Tea Party Senate Conservative Coalition, of which McDaniel is the leader. Josh's father is the Chairman of the Rankin County Republican Executive Committee.

Having a senator and party chairman of one of Mississippi's largely populated - and Republican - counties in possibly two separate camps, the Harkins family may be split between loyalty to the party's longtime incumbent or personal friendships. History buffs out there should be catching onto the historic parallels taking place here. This is just one example of many that are likely to occur.

We also have no word that the Mississippi Republican Party has coalesced behind the Republican incumbent. No mention of "We expect and encourage him to run again with our full support." With factionalism breaking out among Mississippi Republicans, this could be the Republican leadership not wanting to subject themselves to further criticism from an already skeptical Tea Party base.

We have not received confirmation that the Republican incumbent is running for reelection to the seat he has occupied since 1978. For now, McDaniel is the only one doing the talking; thus, he is in the driver's seat.

For those tracking the battles of the Republican Civil War, put this one in the Tea Party column.

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