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McDaniel campaign calls on Trump to oppose Hyde-Smith in open letter

Not all the Republicans in Mississippi are excited about today’s appointment to the U.S. Senate.

While Brookhaven city workers are out sprucing up flowerbeds and sweeping the lots in preparation for the noon ceremony that will see state agriculture commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith elevated to Washington, D.C., supporters of state Sen. Chris McDaniel are calling on President Donald Trump to oppose her.

“Our concern is that you are not being well served by the political advice you may be getting from leadership in Congress,” McDaniel’s bunch said in an open letter sent out early Wednesday morning. “We don’t want what happened in Alabama or Pennsylvania-18 to happen here in Mississippi. Both of those races were disastrous for the Republican Party.”

The letter does not actually ask for Trump’s endorsement of McDaniel, though he will be an in-party opponent for Hyde-Smith during this November’s special election to fill the Senate seat that will be left vacant by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s retirement effective April 1. Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint Hyde-Smith to serve in the interim at an announcement at noon today at the old train depot in Brookhaven.

The McDaniel group’s request is a tall order for the President — Hyde-Smith helped advise Trump on agriculture issues during his presidential campaign.

The letter goes on to accuse Hyde-Smith of being a party jumper — she served in the state senate as a Democrat — before ending in the familiar appeal to “Make America Great Again.” It is signed by numerous county-level Republican leaders across the state, none from Lincoln County.

The letter, which appears in full below, claims to be paid for by “Friends of Chris McDaniel.”

Open Letter to President Donald J. Trump

Dear Mr. President,

We are urgently writing to you about the newly open United States Senate seat in Mississippi. As you know, our senior Senator Thad Cochran has announced that he will retire as of April 1st, triggering a special election in November.

Our concern is that you are not being well-served by the political advice you may be getting from leadership in Congress.

We do not want what happened in Alabama or Pennsylvania-18 to happen here in Mississippi.

Both of those races were disastrous for the Republican Party.

Tomorrow, in Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant intends to nominate Ag Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith. We, the undersigned, oppose this nomination and urge you not to lend your endorsement to her campaign.

Her only experience as a legislator was as a Democrat. She changed her party affiliation because she would not have won a statewide race as a Democrat.

She is very unlikely to make the run-off in November, which is why we are writing to you, asking that you not lend your name to a candidate that is likely to lose.

Thank you for considering our request. We are all supporting you and your agenda to Make America Great Again!

Below are the Republican leaders who have signed the letter to the President. Please sign here to add your name to the petition!

Adams County

Paul Brown – Current Chairman, Adams County GOP

Greg Smith – Current Vice Chairman, Adams County GOP

Sarah Allen – Current Secretary, Adams County GOP

Melanie Sojourner – State Senator, 2012-2015, Current Executive Committee Member, Adams County GOP

Mignon White – Adams County GOP Executive Committee Member

Callon Harrison – Adams County GOP Executive Committee Member

Roy David – Adams County GOP Executive Committee Member

Everard Baker – Adams County GOP Executive Committee Member

Carroll County

David Gillon – Member, Carroll County GOP Executive Committee

Jo Gillon – Member, Carroll County GOP Executive Committee

Bill Downs – Member, Carroll County GOP Executive Committee

Reggie Daves – Member, Carroll County GOP Executive Committee

Robbie Nichols – Former Carroll County Tea Party President

Baird Moor – Current Carroll County Tea Party President

Rob Spiller – Leflore County Republican Party Executive Committee

Clarke County

Greg Mangum – Current Republican Alderman of Stonewall

Covington County

Janice Kervin – Current President, Covington County Republican Party, Mississippi Federation of Republican Women State Treasurer

Vince Thornton – Current Treasurer, Covington County GOP

DeSoto County

Brian Hodges – Trump DeSoto County Co-Chair, DeSoto County GOP Executive Committee

Sarah Hodges – Past President, DeSoto County Republican Women

Franklin County

Harold Leonard – Chairman, Franklin County Republican Party

Anita Leonard – Secretary, Franklin County Republican Party

Caleb Lehmann – Franklin County Republican Executive Committee

Deirdre Arnold – Franklin County Republican Executive Committee

Carl Cupit – Franklin County Republican Executive Committee

Forrest County

Hal Marx – Current Republican Mayor, Petal, Mississippi, Forrest County GOP Executive Committee 1988-2000

Lewis Garvin – Forrest County Executive Committee member

Jennifer West – Hattiesburg Tea Party Organizer

George County

John Moran – Former Chairman, George County GOP

Justin Estes – Former Vice-Chairman, George County GOP, GOP Delegate for Trump

Dr. Bettina Moran – George County GOP Executive Committee

Mark McMillan – Former George County GOP Chairman

Harrison County

Dan Carr – Current President, Harrison County Republican Club

Phil Harding – Past President, Harrison County Republican Club

Ben Bowden – Harrison County Republican Club Board of Directors

Pete Wilson – Harrison County Republican Party Executive Committee Member

Barry Neyrey – President, South Mississippi Tea Party

Hinds County

Rita Anderson – Past President, Hinds County Republican Women

Carol McCarty – Former Chair, Hinds County Republican Women

Laura Van Overschele – Chairman, Mississippi Tea Party, Hinds County Republican Women

Holmes County

Ross Alridge – Former Chairman, Holmes County GOP, former staff to Governor Kirk Fordice

Jackson County

Jeremy England – Current President, Jackson County Republican Club

Susan Kelly Garrett – Past President, Jackson County Republican Club, Past President, Jackson County Republican Women

Lauderdale County

Ed Pierce – Lauderdale County GOP Executive Committee

Itawamba County

Mary Turner – Chairman, Itawamba County Republican Party

Jasper County

James White – Delegate to 2016 Mississippi Republican Convention

Gloria White – Alternate delegate to Jasper County Caucus 2016

Jones County

Kelvin Smith – Current GOP Elections Committee

Jeffery Williams – Current Ellsville Ward 2 Republican Alderman

Chris Hall – Current Ellisville Republican Ward 1 Alderman

Ola Mitchell – Current Ellisville Republican Alderwoman at Large

Frank Williams – Former Ellisville Republican Alderman

Lynn Buckhaults – Republican Mayor of Ellisville

Jack Fairchilds – Jones County Republican Party Executive Committee Member

Michael Shotwell – Jones County Republican Party Executive Committee Member

Jerel Wade – Jones County Republican Party Executive Committee Member

Richard Conrad – Jones County Republican Party Executive Committee Member

Steve Campbell – Jones County Republican Party Executive Committee Member

Nancy Bell – President, Jones County Republican Women

Tiffany Parrish – Vice President, Jones County Republican Women

Martha Sims – Past President, Jones County Republican Women

Michelle Anderson – Jones Committee Chair, Jones County Republican Women

Kathy Hinton – Past Vice-President, Jones County Republican Women

Charlie Deloach – Past Vice-President, Jones County Republican Women

Debbie Armour – Member, Jones County Republican Women

Lynn Howell – Member, Jones County Republican Women

Jess Cooley – President, Jones County Teenage Republican Club

Tyler Byrd – Vice President, Jones County Teenage Republican Club

Ben West – Jones County Republican Party Executive Committee Member

Mike Mulkey – Jones County Executive Committee Member

Ron Swindall – Jones County Executive Committee Member

Bryan Beech – Jones County Executive Committee Member

David Valentine – Jones County Executive Committee Member

Bart Gavin – Jones County Chancery Clerk

Allan Hill – Jones County Republican Executive Committee Member

Ken Walters – Jones County Republican Executive Committee Member

Betty Anderson – Past President, Jones County Republican Women

Stella Hall – Past President, Jones County Republican Women

Julie Harper – Corresponding Secretary Officer, Jones County Republican Women

Barbara Stianche – Member, Jones County Republican Women

Anthony Gatlin – Jones County Republican Executive Committee

Cary Kimbrell – Jones County Republican Executive Committee

Colonel Herman Seefield – Jones County Executive Committee

Debbie Phillips – Treasurer, Jones County Republican Women

Lee County

Rita Buse – Secretary, Lee County Republican Club

Grant Sowell – Lee County Republican Club Executive Committee, President, Tupelo Tea Party

Madison County

Keith Plunkett – Former staff, Congressman Gregg Harper

Marshall County

George Johnson – Former Vice Chair, Marshall County Republican Party

Panola County

Mark Glidewell – Current Panola County GOP Executive Committee Member, 2016 MS GOP State Convention Delegate

Sean O’Neal – Former Panola County Co-Chair for Trump 2016, Member, Panola County Executive Committee

Robert Mitchell – Member, Panola County GOP Executive Committee, Panola County Delegate to MSGOP Convention 2016

Pike County

Jim McCullough – Current Pike County GOP Executive Committee

Rafael Sanchez – Trump Pike County Co-Chair

Rankin County

Elva Eubanks – Trump Rankin County Co-Chair

Larry Eubanks – Trump Rankin County Co-Chair

Sandra Inman – Executive Director, Mississippi Tea Party

Stone County

Amber Johnson, Former Field Representative, Phil Bryant for Governor

Pearl River County

Tony Smith – State Senator 2012-2015, Current Picayune Alderman

Kevin Burr – Pearl River County Trump Chair

Sunflower County

Gene Hill – Chairman, Sunflower County GOP

Tate County

Mike Bostic – Current President, Tate County Republican Club

Scott Harrison – Current Vice President, Tate County Republican Club

Pat Nozinich – Current Secretary, Tate County GOP

Warren County

Brian Wells – Delegate to the 2016 MS State GOP Convention

Robert Peters – Warren County Republican Executive Committee

Wayne County

Kolby Busby – Trump Wayne County Chair, Former Executive Director, Mississippi Federation of College Republicans

Scottie Busby – Wayne County Republican Secretary

Mildred Smith – Wayne County Republican Treasurer

Kayla Giles – Wayne County Young Republican Chairman

Webster County

Chris Hodges – Chairman, Webster County GOP