Candidate drops his challenge of U.S. Senator Wicker

(Craig Ford)

A candidate has ended his Republican primary challenge of U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker in Mississippi, two weeks after saying that's what he would do.

Posted: Mar. 28, 2018 6:35 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a U.S. Senate race in Mississippi (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

A candidate has ended his Republican primary challenge of U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker in Mississippi, two weeks after saying that's what he would do.

State lawmaker Chris McDaniel filed the papers Wednesday with the state Republican Party. He said March 14 that he would leave the Wicker race and run in a special election for Mississippi's other U.S. Senate seat.

Sen. Thad Cochran defeated McDaniel in a bitter 2014 Republican primary. The 80-year-old Cochran is resigning Sunday because of health concerns. Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed Mississippi's Republican Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to temporarily succeed Cochran.

Hyde-Smith, McDaniel, Democratic former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and possibly others will run in a November special election to fill the rest of Cochran's term until January 2021.

____

1:54 p.m.

A U.S. Senate candidate in Mississippi says he's filing an Internal Revenue Service complaint against a group that complained to the Federal Election Commission about him.

Republican Chris McDaniel said Wednesday he believes Campaign Legal Center is violating its IRS status as a nonprofit group by engaging in political activity.

A senior attorney for the center, Adav Noti, says the center has a long history of filing complaints against candidates.

The center's FEC complaint, filed Monday, says McDaniel and a super PAC are improperly coordinating activities.

McDaniel is running in a November special election to complete a term started by longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran, who is resigning Sunday.

Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to temporarily succeed Cochran. She's also running in the special election.

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