Chris McDaniel, a Republican Senate candidate for Mississippi, wants voters to know he sides with President Donald Trump. That commitment led his campaign to part ways with a top adviser who has publicly criticized the president on numerous occasions, Politico reported.
“[Rick] Tyler and the McDaniel campaign have mutually agreed to part ways over a fundamental disagreement on supporting President Trump and his agenda,” a news release from the campaign read. “Senator McDaniel is a loyal and longtime supporter of President Trump, and is wholeheartedly committed to his Make America Great Again agenda.”
Tyler, who worked on Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, has since worked for MSNBC as a political commentator, often openly and harshly criticizing Trump on the network and on social media.
Pocahontas, a Powhatan, is an historic American figure. Yes, Trump is a classless jerk. Sad that her name is now considered a racial slur.
— Rick Tyler (@rickwtyler) November 28, 2017
What’s the story?
McDaniel, currently a state senator, is running for the seat vacated by former Republican Sen. Thad Cochran earlier this year. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi) was appointed by the governor to fill the seat until the special election in November.
He is considered a candidate that skews to the right of establishment-supported candidate Hyde-Smith, and he has attacked Hyde-Smith in the past for being a former Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter in 2008.
Perhaps sensing that having an anti-Trump top adviser would hurt his standing with Mississippi voters, McDaniel’s campaign decided to separate from Tyler, although the news release emphasized more than once that the departure was “mutually agreed” upon.
“Tyler, in his role as an MSNBC political analyst, has been and continues to be an outspoken critic of the President,” the news release read. “Because of this, it has been mutually agreed upon that it is in the best interest of the campaign and Mr. Tyler to go their separate ways.”
The nonpartisan special election will take place with the midterm elections on Nov. 6. If no candidate earns a majority of the vote, a runoff election will be held on Nov. 27.
Polls over the past few months show McDaniel trailing both Hyde-Smith and Democratic candidate Mike Espy, but none of candidates have polled at 50 percent or higher, leading to a high possibility of a runoff.