Could this bring a sleeper win for Democrats?
A Democrat who seems 100 miles away from his party policies, running in the deep South?
Former Rep. Travis Childers voted against the Affordable Care Act, opposes new restrictions on gun sales, believes marriage is between a man and a woman and describes himself as “disenchanted” in many ways with the national Democratic Party.
And next week, he could suddenly become one of the party’s vitally important Senate candidates for 2014 – and a rare Democratic nominee who clashes sharply with his national backers on multiple important issues.
A former elected clerk from Prentiss County in Mississippi’s conservative northeastern corner, Childers, 56, served a term and a half in the House of Representatives before losing his seat in the 2010 midterm wave. A former realtor, he entered the Senate race earlier this year as longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran battled an aggressive primary challenge from conservative state legislator Chris McDaniel.
With the Cochran-McDaniel race headed for a photo finish next week, Childers outlined his general-election campaign message in a phone interview Friday. He all but acknowledged the conventional wisdom on the race: that a Democrat like him might stand a much better chance against a firebrand like McDaniel than a well-liked, 42-year incumbent like Cochran.
“I think there would be a stark contrast between me and state Sen. McDaniel,” Childers said, casting himself as a populist opponent of “far-right extremism” and criticizing Washington for having “forgotten the working people, especially in my state.”