JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – State Senator Chris McDaniel (R-District 42) announced he will run to be the next lieutenant governor of Mississippi. McDaniel made the announcement on Monday at the Mississippi Republican Headquarters in Jackson.

As he has in past campaigns, McDaniel spoke of himself in sweeping terms as a candidate who will defend individual liberty. He said he wants to prevent the country from descending into “the ash heap of totalitarianism,” and he said Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (R-Miss.) has beliefs that “align more with the Democrat party” than they do with former President Ronald Reagan and former U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater.

McDaniel previously ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and 2018. He failed to win both campaigns.

During the 2014 Republican primary between state Sen. Chris McDaniel and now deceased U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, a group of McDaniel supporters conspired to take pictures of Cochran’s wife, who was living at a Madison nursing home because of dementia.

After a photograph was briefly published online in an attempt to claim Cochran was unfaithful to his bedridden wife, an uproar ensued. Police began investigating even as Cochran went on to win a runoff against McDaniel, and then win reelection. Cochran died in 2019, a year after retiring.

In 2018, McDaniel announced he would challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, but McDaniel changed course and ran instead in that year’s special U.S. Senate election to fill the final half of the term started by Cochran after the longtime lawmaker resigned. McDaniel placed third in the nonpartisan special election.

Hosemann previously announced that he would run for re-election.

After McDaniel announced his intentions to run for the lieutenant governor seat, Hosemann’s campaign released the following statement.

After being rejected by Mississippians in three failed statewide campaigns, the least effective politician in the state with the largest ego is running again, this time for Lt. Governor.

By comparison, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann’s conservative record is clear, implementing Voter ID to secure our elections, delivering the largest tax cut in Mississippi’s history, and overseeing a major teacher pay raise. Results matter and Delbert delivers.

Casey Phillips, Senior Advisor for the Delbert Hosemann Campaign

Wednesday is candidates’ qualifying deadline for Mississippi elections for statewide, regional, legislative and county offices. Party primaries are Aug. 8, with runoffs Aug. 29. The general election is on Nov. 7, with runoffs Nov. 28.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.