Zee Media Bureau
Washington: US Republican Thad Cochran defeated Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel by slim margin for Mississippi GOP nomination on Tuesday.
Cochran`s victory came after he was defeated by McDaniel in the initial primary round but was still short of majority required to file the nomination.
In the three-week dash to the runoff, Cochran and his allies had highlighted his seniority while McDaniel had argued that Cochran was part of a blight of federal overspending, the AP reported.
The six-time senator`s victory is reportedly crucial ahead of the midterm elections to be held in November.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Cochran had 51 percent to McDaniel`s 49 percent, three weeks after McDaniel had beaten the veteran lawmaker in the initial primary round but had fallen short of the majority needed for nomination. In the three-week dash to the runoff, Cochran and his allies had highlighted his seniority while McDaniel had argued that Cochran was part of a blight of federal overspending.
In a brief speech to supporters, Cochran thanked those who helped him secure a "great victory. ... It`s a group effort. It`s not a solo. And so we all have a right to be proud of our state tonight."
A defiant McDaniel offered no explicit concession, but instead complained of "dozens of irregularities" that he implied were due to Cochran courting Democrats and independents.
The win for Cochran, a stalwart of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was a fresh blow to the tea party movement, which spent millions to cast aside a mainstream Republican who won a US House seat in President Richard Nixon`s GOP wave of 1972 and has served in the Senate for more than three decades.
(With AP Inputs)