US Sen. Cochran defeats challenger in Miss. runoff

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Six-term Sen. Thad Cochran has defeated challenger Chris McDaniel in Mississippi's Republican primary runoff.

Cochran's win Tuesday was another blow to tea party groups that are trying to unseat longtime GOP lawmakers. The race attracted $12 million in spending by outside groups.

Returns showed Cochran with a lead of about 3,800 votes, holding 50.5 percent of the vote to McDaniel's 49.5 percent with 98 percent of precincts reporting.

The 76-year-old Cochran is a former Senate Appropriations Committee chairman. He was first elected to the Senate in 1978 after serving six years in the House.

Cochran moves on to the general election to face former U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, a Democrat, and the Reform Party's Shawn O'Hara of Hattiesburg.

McDaniel, who's 41, is a state senator.

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