An unusual coalition of activists and organizations have united in the hopes of defending Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in his June 24 runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Miss.).
As the Clarion-Ledger reported Tuesday, James "Scooby Doo" Warren, a Democratic political operative, says he is working with the Mississippi Conservatives PAC on a statewide plan to turn out votes for Cochran.
Meanwhile, Bishop Ronnie Crudup, Sr. of the New Horizon Church in Jackson is affiliated with a super PAC called "All Citizens For Mississippi" that has run advertisements and distributed pro-Cochran fliers. The newly-formed PAC shares an address and chief financial officer with the church, raising questions about whether the church is illegally participating in the campaign.
Crudup, who is African-American, told the Associated Press earlier this month that he voted for Cochran in the primary and that he felt his group "couldn't sit on the sideline" in the runoff.
"We recognized that Mississippi is a red state and more than likely will have a Republican senator, and therefore this decision, which is going to affect every citizen in Mississippi, is going to be made in the Republican primary," Crudup said. "We therefore determined that we couldn't sit on the sideline, but that we had to take some actions that spoke to our community about our self-interest when it comes to this race."
Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole told the Clarion-Ledger he doesn't like the idea of Democrats "crossing over to vote for the weaker candidate" in a Republican primary.
Although non-Republicans can vote in the Cochran-McDaniel runoff, voters who cast a ballot in Mississippi's June 3 Democratic primary are ineligible to participate. Runoff elections typically see lower voter participation rates, although Cochran supporters hope to reach out to new voters.