NYT: Ted Cruz Gets a Boost in Mississippi From a Tea Party Stalwart

By Nic Corasaniti, New York Times, August 11, 2015


OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. – Perched on a barstool at Sweetpea’s Table here was a Tea Party favorite whose political rise alarmed the Republican leadership last year. And pacing the stage in front of him and delivering a rousing speech was Senator Ted Cruz.

Indeed, State Senator Chris McDaniel, who dragged Senator Thad Cochran into a primary runoff election last year and worried some Republican leaders that his brand of conservatism may hurt the party’s chances of winning the Senate, joined Mr. Cruz for the Mississippi leg of Mr. Cruz’s weeklong “Cruz Country” bus tour.

Mr. McDaniel seemed a perfect guest to accompany Mr. Cruz, who has had his own public battles with Senator Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership. Mr. Cruz even went as far as to name Mr. McDaniel his state co-chairman in Mississippi, hoping to tap the large conservative grass-roots movement that propelled Mr. McDaniel to a near victory in the Republican Senate primary last year. And Mr. McDaniel’s past — as a thorn in the side of Republicans like Mr. McConnell — only endears him more to Mr. Cruz.

“I am proud to stand with Senator Chris McDaniel,” Mr. Cruz told reporters before his event here. “And I’ll tell you, that primary result was clear and overwhelming, and I had been quite public in the past that the behavior of the D.C. Republican establishment in that runoff was shameful.”

Mr. McDaniel, who believes he would have won the Republican nomination in 2014 had there not been a high turnout among Democrats in the runoff election, is ready to turn out his grass-roots army for Mr. Cruz, whom he calls a great friend.

“He’s the pre-eminent conservative in this country,” Mr. McDaniel said of Mr. Cruz in an interview. “Mississippi still has an incredible grass-roots presence. If you look back at the race in 2014, we won with 60 percent of the Republican vote roughly, but if not for the crossover voters, we would have been successful. So, we feel like we can use our energy here and our momentum here to assist him in this state.”

It appears Mr. McDaniel’s supporters got the message. Both of Mr. Cruz’s events here drew hundreds of people; his morning event in Tupelo, where he had to speak from the flatbed of a Ford pickup truck to the overflow crowds, attracted more than 500 attendees, and 22,000 more tuned in through a live stream on Facebook.

There were also some in the crowd clutching “Cruz 2016” signs in one hand while holding older, bold red “Vote McDaniel” signs in the other. And Mr. McDaniel was greeted by a large round of applause when he stepped off the campaign bus ahead of Mr. Cruz.

“Prior to this, I was leaning towards Cruz,” said George Bogardus, 72, from nearby Satillo, Miss., who was also clutching signs supporting both men. “But Mr. McDaniel cemented it.”

Ted Cruz Announces Mississippi Leadership Team, McDaniel & Plunkett Named Co-Chairs

Cruz for President Announces Mississippi Leadership Team

Sen. Cruz Names Mississippi State Co-Chairs Senator Chris McDaniel and Keith Plunkett

HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today announced the beginnings of his Mississippi Leadership Team, consisting of top Mississippi conservative activists and current state senators. Led by Co-Chairs State Senator Chris McDaniel and Keith Plunkett, the group will be in charge of helping to assemble and grow Sen. Cruz’s grassroots network in Mississippi in advance of the March 8th primary.

This Tuesday, Sen. Cruz will visit the Magnolia State on his ‘Cruz Country ‘ bus tour to speak at locations across Mississippi, including a “Down Home Breakfast” at Connie’s Fried Chicken in Tupelo and at Sweet Pea’s Table in Olive Branch. The events schedule may be found at www.tedcruz.org/cruzcountry.

“Ted Cruz’s values are Mississippi’s values, and Mississippi is essential to the 2016 primary election process. I understand what it means to be a strong, principled leader who will fight even when it is not easy to do so. Ted Cruz is that kind of man,” said State Sen. Chris McDaniel. “That is why I am so incredibly excited to serve as a Mississippi Co-Chair for the Cruz campaign. I look forward to spreading Sen. Cruz’s conservative message and helping elect him to be our next President.”

“I am thrilled to work with such a tenacious group of courageous conservatives who have shown time and time again that they will vigorously fight to defend conservative principles,” said Cruz. “I am honored that they will help spread my message to all Mississippians.”

The Cruz for President Mississippi Leadership Team includes:

State Senator Chris McDaniel, State Co-Chair, Ellisville

State Sen. Chris McDaniel is the state senator for the 42nd District of Mississippi. McDaniel leads the United Conservatives Fund, a member-led state political action committee dedicated to advancing the conservative movement and electing true conservative candidates. McDaniel leads the fight against Obamacare and is a former federal law clerk.

Keith Plunkett, State Co-Chair, Flora

Keith Plunkett is currently the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. Throughout his career he has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials, from Aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies, and non-profits. He has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic, and political organizations.

State Senator Melanie Sojourer, Natchez

State Sen. Melanie Sojourer represents the 37th District of Mississippi and is a sixth generation member of Oakwood Plantation in addition to serving as a community and church volunteer.

Kolby Busby, Jackson

Kolby Busby is currently the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans Executive Director. Formerly, he was the President for the College Republicans at Jones County Junior College. Busby has been an activist for a variety of conservative causes throughout Mississippi.

Laura Van Overschelde, Pearl

A former nurse anesthetist for 37 years, Laura Van Overschelde is currently the Chairwoman of the Mississippi Tea Party and a council member on the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Brad Patano, Ocean Springs

Brad Patano is the President of Young Professionals Business Leaders and is an Executive Committee Member for the United Conservatives Fund. As a partner in an engineering and architecture firm on the gulf coast, Brad is all too familiar with the overreach and interference of government regulation.

Steve Hopkins, Southaven

Steve Hopkins founded the DeSoto County Conservative Coalition

Canada Free Press: There’s a New Sheriff in Town

Great piece on Trump versus the Establishment, with a significant portion devoted to Senator Chris McDaniel and his race against Cochran. The same folks that tried to destroy McDaniel are going after Trump.

By Peggy Ryan, Canada Free Press, August 10, 2015

Republicans and their Democrat allies (henceforth referred to as Republicrats) have collectively thrown their hands up in the air, how can Donald Trump be the frontrunner?  Especially after the GOP establishment (GOPe) has fired every weapon in their arsenal at him.  Is he Superman, some comic hero who’s invincible?

No, Republicrats, he’s just a guy who’s learned how to handle back-stabbing, control freaks such as yourselves.  He’s not an “eye for an eye” guy, he’s more an ‘eye, tongue, nose, ear’  for an eye guy.  He’s our kind of guy. [Read more…]