JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Election officials in Mississippi say rainy weather is probably keeping some people away from the polls today, as six-term GOP Sen. Thad Cochran faces a tough challenge from tea party candidate Chris McDaniel.
There are Senate primaries today in seven states -- balloting that will help determine whether Republicans have a credible chance of gaining the six seats required to take control of the chamber from Democrats.
In Mississippi, Cochran has the GOP establishment's support. Rival McDaniel has picked up considerable energy from conservatives to counter any damage his campaign suffered when four of his supporters were arrested on charges of taking pictures of Cochran's bedridden wife in a nursing home.
Cochran supporter Sylvia Ketcham, voting near Jackson, said she didn't like the dirty campaigning. The 80-year-old said she wanted to keep her fellow "senior citizen" in office.
The other Senate primaries today are in in Alabama, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota.
Voters in these seven states plus California are also choosing nominees for House races.
025-c-19-(Jerry Bodlander, AP correspondent)-"incumbent Republican senator"-AP correspondent Jerry Bodlander reports a veteran senator faces a tough primary fight today. (3 Jun 2014)
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APPHOTO MSRS103: Lisa Bailey aggressively waves her campaign sign for state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is running against incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the GOP primary, while Shelby Ford, 15, takes a more laid back approach to sidewalk campaigning for her father running for county chancery clerk by sitting in a lawn chair and waving his sign during the state's primary election, Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Madison, Miss., (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) (3 Jun 2014)
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APPHOTO IANH103: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst and her husband Gail, rear, fill out their ballots in Iowa's Republican primary in Red Oak, Iowa, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Five Republicans are competing for the GOP Senate nomination and a chance to face Democrat Bruce Braley, who is running unopposed. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (3 Jun 2014)
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