A political analyst believes the governor of Mississippi should appoint a constitutional conservative to fill the seat of longtime U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.
Cochran, who is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced Monday that he will resign April 1 because of health problems. He turns 80 in December.
Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978 after serving six years in the U.S. House. It will be up to Republican Governor Phil Bryant to appoint a temporary replacement. Then a special election will be held to fill the rest of the term, through January 2021.
Rob Chambers is vice president of AFA Action, the political arm of the Mississippi-based American Family Association.
"The people who I think would be on that short list – at least those who should be on the short list – are those who are proven constitutional conservatives," Chambers tells OneNewsNow. "[It should be] those who would go to the U.S. Senate and basically defend not only the Constitution but also be able to recognize the limitations of the constitutional authority over the states – primarily the Tenth Amendment."
Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel announced last week that he will run this year against Mississippi's other Republican senator, Roger Wicker. But moments after making that announcement, McDaniel said he could drop out of the Wicker race and run in the special election if Cochran resigns.
Governor Bryant "holds all the cards," says Chambers.
"It doesn't matter if someone is running in a particular race, the governor can still appoint that person," he explains. "This could very well likely be Governor Phil Bryant's legacy: What type of constitutional conservative is he going to appoint to fill the remainder of the term of Thad Cochran, who for all practical purposes is an illustration of the political swamp?"
Cochran – identified over the years by Citizens Against Government Waste as one of the major proponents of the political "earmark" system – won a bitter Republican primary runoff in 2014 against McDaniel, who had support from tea party groups. (Related story from Fox News)
Editor's Note: AFA Action is a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.