Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, from left, talks with Sue Stedman and Joe Stedman during a meet and greet at the Grand Hotel Wednesday afternoon. Sen. Cochran visited Natchez for his re-election campaign.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, from left, talks with Sue Stedman and Joe Stedman during a meet and greet at the Grand Hotel Wednesday afternoon. Sen. Cochran visited Natchez for his re-election campaign.

Cochran meets and greets at Natchez event

Published 12:11am Thursday, April 24, 2014

NATCHEZ — U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Jackson, was in Natchez Wednesday for a private event in the evening, but hosted a spontaneous meet-and-greet at the Natchez Grand Hotel during the afternoon.

Cochran, who is the third-most senior legislator in the Senate, said his focus in the nation’s capital right now is the federal appropriations process.

Cochran, 76, is the ranking Republican on the Senate appropriations committee.

“The appropriations committee demands most of my attention,” he said.

“We continue to try to be sure to try to identify the highest priorities for funding, and to do what we need to do for the national security interests of our country.”

Wednesday’s stop in Natchez is a part of a statewide tour Cochran is making as part of his re-election campaign. He has been in the Senate since 1978.

“I am looking forward to serving the people of Mississippi another six years,” Cochran said.

“I am traveling around the state thanking those who have helped finance my campaign and those who have agreed to get out and organize the neighborhoods to turn out the vote, and I feel very encouraged about the responses.”

Cochran faces a Republican primary challenge June 3 from State Sen. Chris McDaniel and Thomas Carey, a real estate agent. It’s the first challenge to his seat since 1996.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the four-member Democratic field — the Democratic primary will also be June 3 — and Reform Party candidate Shawn O’Hara in November.

If necessary, the party primaries will have a runoff election June 24.