|Member of the Mississippi Senate
from the 42nd district
January 8, 2008
|Preceded by||Stacey Pickering|
|Born||Christopher Brian McDaniel
June 28, 1972
|Alma mater||Jones County Junior College
William Carey University
University of Mississippi
Christopher Brian "Chris" McDaniel (born June 28, 1972) is an American attorney, conservative commentator, and is a Republican politician in the Mississippi Senate representing the 42nd District, which encompasses part of South Mississippi.
In the 2014 Mississippi Republican Senate primary on June 3, although McDaniel received the most votes, none of the candidates acquired a majority of the votes, which triggered a June 24, 2014 run-off election. McDaniel, who ran as a Tea Party candidate, subsequently lost to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran in the run-off.
Early life and education
McDaniel was born in Laurel, Mississippi. He is the only child of Carlos and Charlotte McDaniel. He graduated with honors from Jones County Junior College and received his B.S. with honors from William Carey University. After graduating from William Carey in 1994, McDaniel entered the University of Mississippi School of Law, graduating cum laude in 1997 with a Juris Doctor degree. McDaniel resides with his family in Ellisville, Mississippi. He is the grandson of early country singer Luke McDaniel.
Legal and radio career
In 1997, McDaniel entered a two-year federal clerkship with United States District Court Judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr. After leaving his position as a law clerk with Judge Pickering, McDaniel joined the law firm of Hortman Harlow Bassi Robinson & McDaniel, becoming a partner in 2003. His areas of concentration include Litigation, Insurance Defense, Corporate Law, Products Liability, Commercial Litigation, Consumer Products Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation, Complex Multi-Party Litigation, Legislation, Constitutional Law & Civil Rights. He is licensed to practice law in Mississippi and Texas.
McDaniel is the former host of The Right Side Radio Show on WMXI 98.1 FM in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, nationally syndicated since 2006 by EBN Radio Network and Golden Broadcasters. The show was broadcast nationwide on ABC Radio Networks and the industry standard Starguide III system. The show returned to local stations upon his leaving the show.
On April 9, 2010, McDaniel filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and 11 other Mississippians for declaratory and injunctive relief seeking a determination that provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) violate the United States Constitution by mandating American citizens to purchase health insurance.
McDaniel has been considered as a possible candidate for U.S. Representative for Mississippi's 4th Congressional District.
McDaniel is a Republican politician who has served as a member of the Mississippi Senate since 2008. He is Vice-Chairman of Oil, Gas and Other Minerals Committee and a member of numerous other committees, including Education; Elections; Appropriations; Judiciary, Division A; Public Health and Welfare; Wildlife; Fisheries and Parks.
In 2012, during his second term, he served as a member of Elections (Chair); Judiciary, Division B (Vice-Chair); Appropriations; Compilation; Revision and Publication; Congressional Redistricting (Vice-Chair);Constitution;Drug Policy; Energy; Legislative Reapportionment; Municipalities; and Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. He was also Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of Mental Health, Chairman on the Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of Rehabilitation Services, and Chairman on the Appropriations Subcommittee for the Department of Human Services.
As a first-term senator in 2010, Chris led the fight to protect private property rights when he took on then-Gov. Haley Barbour, a fellow Republican, and urged his fellow state senators to override Gov. Barbour’s veto of eminent domain legislation that would prevent government from taking private land for use by private companies. The override effort failed by two votes, but began a grassroots ballot initiative to amend the Mississippi Constitution. The ballot initiative passed the following year.
During the 2011 legislative redistricting battle, McDaniel played a key role in defeating the House redistricting plan, moving to table the plan designed by the House. He was then appointed a conferee along with Elections Chairman Terry Burton and Senate President Pro Tem Billy Hewes. The House plan was not adopted.
2014 Senate campaign
McDaniel ran for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Thad Cochran. McDaniel was vocal about his intention to repeal Obamacare, if elected, and stated his intention to work toward lowering the national debt.
During his campaign, McDaniel stated: "Washington is broken, and it is clear Mississippi voters are looking for a change. For too long, career politicians in Washington have allowed our national debt to grow out of control". He had been endorsed by the Club for Growth PAC which spent $3.1 million or nearly half of the $7.8 million which it spent in all of 2014 only on this issue, and the Tea Party Express.
On June 3, 2014, in the Republican primary McDaniel received 49.6% and incumbent U.S. Senator Cochran received 49%, forcing a June 24, 2014, run-off election. McDaniel lost the run-off taking 49% of the vote to Cochran's 51%
In the aftermath, McDaniel and his campaign claimed that there were indications of voter fraud, and insisted that about 3,300 Democrats voted in the run-off for Cochran, and were investigating whether the crossover voting violated any laws in Mississippi. On July 2, 2014, McDaniel wrote in a fundraising pitch that “Last week’s runoff election was a sham, plain and simple,” and charged that Cochran “stole” the nomination.
A day after the election results were certified by the state party, Senator Ted Cruz and tea party groups backed an investigation of what they alleged to be voter fraud in the run-off election. Cruz also told reporters that groups aligned with the Cochran campaign ran racially offensive ads designed to persuade black voters to vote against McDaniel. Regarding the racially charged ads, McDaniel said that the GOP is "a party that does not need to play the race card to win." On July 17, the Mississippi State Supreme Court rejected McDaniel’s request for access to poll books without having voters birth dates blacked out, which his attorneys argued were needed to identify alleged fraudulent votes.
McDaniel has spoken at conferences held by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. McDaniel made statements on his talk show in 2006 or 2007 on reparations for slavery, race, and women that Politico, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and other news organizations have characterized as controversial.
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- Schultheis, Emily. "Chris McDaniel audio: Slavery, race, women". Politico. Politico. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
Asked, for example, about reparations for slavery, McDaniel said: 'If they pass reparations, and my taxes are going up, I ain’t paying taxes.' And on having to learn Spanish, he said: 'You’ll have to learn just enough to ask where the bathroom is. Baños. Baños. That’s what you say.' He also, when asked to translate 'Do you have a sister?' replied, 'What about mamacita? … Mamacita works….I’m an English-speaking Anglo. I have no idea what it means, actually, but I’ve said it a few times, just for, you know, fun. And I think it basically means, "Hey, hot mama." Or, you know, "You’re a fine looking young thing."'
- "Miss. Senate Hopeful Chris McDaniel Riffed on ‘Mamacita,’ Reparations". The Wall Street Journal. April 10, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Don't Call Me 'Mamacita.' I Am Not Your Mommy.". NPR. June 6, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Republican National Lawyers Association". RNLA. July 14, 2000. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- Jason, Vannatta. "Welcome To Miss Mississippi Usa And Miss Mississippi Teen Usa". Missmississippiusa.com. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
- "Carey inducts alumni". Msbusiness.com. May 27, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2013.