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Senate candidate visits: McDaniel talks to local Tea Party

THE DAILY LEADER / RHONDA DUNAWAY / Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel stopped in Brookhaven to talk to Tea Party members Monday about conservative issues. McDaniel is running against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the primaries set for June 3 to decide which Republican will run for the U.S. senate seat.

THE DAILY LEADER / RHONDA DUNAWAY / Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel stopped in Brookhaven to talk to Tea Party members Monday about conservative issues. McDaniel is running against U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the primaries set for June 3 to decide which Republican will run for the U.S. senate seat.

Second term state Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, is using his political savvy and charisma to influence Mississippi’s Tea Party to vote for him in his bid to defeat 42-year veteran U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the upcoming primary on June 3.

The Tea Party met Monday in the State Room at State Bank in downtown Brookhaven and packed the house in anticipation of the state senator’s visit.

McDaniel is a lifelong Jones county resident who said at Monday’s Tea Party meeting that “our country is in trouble financially and spiritually, but the great delusion of our time is that the government can solve your problems. We do not need big government running our lives.”

McDaniel’s campaign is founded on sound conservative principals, he said, explaining that he believes big government snubs their nose at hard working Americans.

“It’s about the people versus an established government that looks down their nose at you,” he told the audience. “They see themselves as an aristocracy.” He claimed that Cochran has a voting record that is not conservatively sound.

“If you’ll disregard his voting record, the senator is a nice man, but he has repeatedly voted to fund Obama Care and he supports Common Core – something you will need to watch out for. Something that will take away your liberty of saying what your children learn in schools.”

State Sen. Melanie Sojourner, R-Natchez, spoke to the audience about her friendship with McDaniel and their common interest – the Conservative Coalition.

“I’ve become such good friends with Chris because of a call I got from Paul Ott who was afraid for the future of our children. He said students can’t pray, can’t write papers about Christ, can’t talk about their convictions. And he felt this was a violation of constitutional rights.” She explained that she began working with McDaniel on the Student Religious Liberties Act that is designed to ensure the right to religious freedoms.

“I’ve never worked with a man who was smarter, more spiritually sound and legislatively knowledgeable,” Sojourner said of McDaniel.

The two state senators have also worked closely on new legislation they say will defeat Common Core – the new federal standards that were adopted by the state legislative session in 2013. McDaniel explained that conservative lawmakers were duped into voting for the new set of goals that Mississippi schools are using to bring students up to par on a national level.

“No one has fought against Common Core more than the Conservative Coalition has,” McDaniel said. “They claim we funded Common Core. No, we did not,” he explained.

“The piece of legislation was a blip on an educational provisions bill – it wasn’t even mentioned. We didn’t know Common Core was in there. It wasn’t even called Common Core then. That’s when we formed the coalition to have the bills written out and looked at so we could see what exactly was in each one. We felt betrayed. We felt like the wool had been pulled over our eyes.”

He added that Cochran asked Congress for $4.4 billion dollars this year to fund Common Core curriculum. He said the coalition has put forth two bills to fight the new federal curriculum.

McDaniel challenged audience members to consider whether they were keeping to their convictions with their votes and told them that this was their fight.

“Are we maintaining the republic our founders created?” he asked. “What do strong men and women do if they’re afraid? They stand and fight. This is your fight. I’m just following you.”