WASHINGTON (AP) — Six-term Sen. Thad Cochran's Republican runoff against Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel stands as a test of whether decades of delivering federal largesse trumps conservative demands to slash government spending.
The 76-year-old Cochran is the former Senate Appropriations Committee chairman who has steered billions of dollars back home. He is locked in a tight race against the tea party-backed McDaniel, who was born the year Cochran came to Washington as a congressman.
The runoff is the headline race on a busy day of primaries in Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, Maryland, Colorado and Utah.
In New York, 22-term Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel is seeking one more term. State Sen. Adriano Espaillat (ah-dree-AH'-noh ehs-peye-YAHT'), a Dominican-born legislator who lost by fewer than 1,100 votes in the 2012 primary, poses the toughest challenge.