Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:00 AM
Incumbent U.S. Senator Thad Cochran narrowly pulled out the Republican nomination Tuesday night carrying Neshoba County with 54.21 percent of the vote and the state with 50.8 percent at press time.
Cochran polled 1,900 votes in Neshoba County while challenger Chris McDaniel tallied 1,605 votes in complete but uncertified returns.
In the June 3 primary, Cochran received about 1,508 votes, or 52.49 percent here.
Cochran will face Democratic nominee Travis W. Childers in the general election on Nov. 4.
After losing the June 3 primary, Cochran campaigned heavily in key areas of the state, including the Gulf Coast and Desoto County.
The Cochran campaign even made a stop in Neshoba County last week where he visited Williams Brothers Store and made an appearance at the Philadelphia Rotary Club meeting.
McDaniel in a combative speech Tuesday night from Hattiesburg told his supporters it wasn't over.
"We had a dream and the dream is still with us," he said on WJTV. "Today, there are millions of people who feel like strangers in their on party. They spent millions of dollars to character assassinate one of their own"
Cochran told a celebratory crowd in Jackson chanting "Thad! Thad! Thad!" that, "It's a group effort. It's not a solo. And so we all have a right to be proud of our state tonight."
In the Third District Democratic run-off race for U. S. House of Representatives, Douglas MacArthur (D.M.) Magee who had 51.5 percent was ahead of Dennis Quinn who only had 48.5 at press time.
In Neshoba County, Quinn, tallied 164 votes or 51.25 percent; and Quinn, 150 votes or 46.88 percent.
The winner will face Republican nominee incumbent Gregg Harper.
Nearly 22.4 percent of the county's 16,425 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday. This number is up from the June 3 primary.
That included 148 Republican absentee ballots and five Democrat absentee ballots.
Election Commissioner Harold Reynolds said the number of absentee ballots was up from the first primary, which saw about 120 voting early.
McDaniel told his supporters Tuesday night there is nothing "extreme" or "strange" about balancing the budget, protecting the constitution and keeping our faith.
"There's something strange about a Republican primary that's decided by liberal Democrats," he said. "We must be certain that the Republican primary was won by Republican voters."
"We have fought too long and fought too hard for the conservative movement," he continued. "This was a fight that needed to be fought. This is a fight that had to happen."
One voter at the Neshoba Baptist Center Tuesday morning said she was voting for same person that she voted for in first primary.
"This election is important because we need to have the same person who representing us now," Charlene Webb said.
Her husband, Steve, agreed with her, but added that "every election is important."
A poll worker at the Baptist Center said everything was "on par" as the last election.
"It looks like we've had different people voting today," Ronnie DiPalma said. "It will be interesting to see if more Thad supporter show up or Chris supporters show up."
DiPalma said a few voters forgot their I.D.'s at home, but simply left the polls to go get them.
He also said since 5 p.m. at his precinct, there was no affit davit ballots issued for voters not having an I.D.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the controversial voter ID amendment was approved by Mississippians in 2011 and passed by the State Legislature in 2012.
This is the second time voters have had to use a voter I.D. to cast a ballot.
It was with an unusual assist from African-American voters and other Democrats who feared his opponent that Sen. Cochran beat back a spirited challenge from state McDaniel, triumphing in a Republican runoff and defeating the Tea Party in the state where the movement's hopes were bright.
McDaniel, an uncompromising conservative, relied on the muscle of outside groups and the enthusiasm of conservative voters who are weary of Cochran's old-school Washington ways.
The senator ran a largely sleepy campaign until the primary on June 3, when he was edged out by McDaniel but won enough votes to keep him from winning outright.voters - especially African-Americans - to make up that deficit.
The New York Times contributed to this story.