Cochran, Childers square off in midterm elections

With the midterm elections approaching for a new senator to represent the state of Mississippi on Nov. 4, it might be important for students to be well informed about which candidate they wish to represent them and their interests.

According to The Clarion-Ledger, there is currently one seat in the Senate available with two men chosen from the primaries to run for the position. Travis Childers, former U.S. Congressional representative, is the Democratic Party candidate and Senator Thad Cochran, the incumbent representing Mississippi, is the candidate for the Republican Party.

While this may seem like a polarizing race with candidates on two opposite sides of the political spectrum, Childers surprises many with his pro-life, pro-gun stance.

Childers also voted “no” on the Affordable Care Act and has shown some derision toward Cochran’s attempts to overturn the law.

“I don’t care if you voted against it 500 times,’’ Childers said to USA Today. “It’s not going to be repealed. Stop misleading the people of Mississippi.”

Childers was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of the fiscally conservative Democrats. According to The Clarion-Ledger, Childers said he would vote for a balanced budget amendment.

Childers prizes public education and making college affordable, according to his campaign website. He also supports equal pay for equal work and hopes to raise minimum wage to a “living wage,” which he emphasizes on his website. Also, Childers supports tax breaks for small businesses in order to increase job creation.

While Childers is moderately conservative, Cochran has been the right wing’s right hand for almost six terms. According to the, Cochran is pro-life voting “yes” to prohibiting federal funding for abortion. He is also pro-gun and believes in loose gun control policies, having voted “no” on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets in April 2013.

According to his website, Cochran is in support of the agriculture industry in America. He is a member and former chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, as well as having served on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. His website said “he works to support programs and policies to allow agriculture and related industries to grow in Mississippi and the nation.”

Cochran claims to be a fan of conserving Mississippi wildlife and the environment; however he has consistently voted in Senate to reduce the dependency on foreign oil. He voted “no” on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and urges drilling to happen on American soil. Despite this, he is a friend to clean air and water bills.

According to his speech at the Neshoba County Fair, an important political and social event for the state, Cochran is strongly against Obamacare and promises to repeal the legislation.

He said it was “flawed from the very beginning” and “it’s time to stop it once and for all.”

Cochran is up for re-election for his seventh term in office and also for resumption of his position as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

With these issues in mind, it is up to each student to decide the future of the state of Mississippi as well as the country on Nov. 4.

Remember that Mississippi voters may vote at their designated polling place on election day. Those who are not local should remember to mail their absentee votes.

Katie Quinnelly, a junior English licensure major, stressed the importance of students turning out to vote.

“It’s our future,” she said. “It’s up to us to see that it’s a bright one.”