BY JOSH PRESLEY
Mississippiâ€™s primaries have come and gone, but the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate remains too close to call.
Incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Tea Party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Greeneville) both failed to capture the necessary 50 percent of the votes required to avoid a runoff.
With just over 99 percent of the stateâ€™s precincts reporting, as of Tuesday, McDaniel had 49.6 percent of the vote to Cochranâ€™s 48.9 percent, according to politico.com. A third candidate, Thomas Carey, received just over 1 percent of the vote. If neither Cochran nor McDaniel reaches the necessary majority, they will face each other in a runoff on June 24.
In Clay County, however, Cochran received almost twice as many votes as McDaniel, according to the Circuit Clerkâ€™s Election Summary Report. Cochran carried 1,084 votes, or 63 percent, from Clay County residents to McDanielâ€™s 616, or 36 percent of the vote. Carey received 12 votes, or 0.7 percent, from county residents.
Congressman Alan Nunnelee ran unopposed in the first congressional district for the Republican nomination to the U.S. House of Representatives. Still, Nunnelee received 1,510 votes in Clay County, with 11 write-ins for other candidates.
Clay County Circuit Clerk Bob Harrell said the county had roughly a 12 percent voter participation rate, and the majority of county residents voted on the Republican ticket.
â€śWe had an 80 percent turnout for the last presidential election, which was the highest in the state,â€ť Harrell said. â€śIt just shows the difference in level of interest.â€ť
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