Ending growing speculation he was about to throw in the towel, Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, a six-term Republican, revealed Friday he will seek a seventh term.
"I'm comfortable with my decision," Cochran, 75, told the Gannett Washington Bureau
"I'm looking forward to it," he added. "People have been very generous and expressed appreciation. Some have even started sending contributions and helping in that way."
Cochran, who turns 76 on Saturday, has served the Magnolia State since 1978 and had been mum about his plans for another term until now.
There was talk he might retire because of a "slow fundraising pace," The Hill reported
Cochran faces a spirited primary battle with state Sen. Chris McDaniel.
McDaniel is a tea party favorite backed by conservative groups including the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund, while Cochran enjoys the support of Mississippi's GOP establishment.
"Cochran is in for the toughest race of his career," Jennifer Duffy of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told Gannett.
"What McDaniel did is kind of challenged his political manhood," she said. "He sort of dared him... Can Cochran walk away from a challenge like that?"
The veteran politician, who served three terms in the House before being elected to the Senate entering the Senate, is ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee.
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