Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced Friday, he will run for a seventh term in the Senate, unleashing what is shaping up to be a cutthroat competition between Washington's establishment and the tea party fringe.
Cochran will face a primary challenge in 2014 against state Sen. Chris McDaniel. McDaniel has earned the endorsements of Washington's top conservative groups including the Madison Project, Club for Growth and the Senate Conservative fund. Outside groups have already spent nearly $600,000 on his race.
Cochran's earned a reputation in the Senate of bringing home the bacon to Mississippi and hammering out deals with Democrats in order to pass legislation. He was one of the Republicans who voted to end the government shutdown with a compromise bill that reopened the federal government and kept the country from defaulting on its debt.
McDaniel has hit Cochran for giving up too easily to repeal Obamacare and not doing enough to curb the country's deficit.
"I've got 17 trillion reasons not to compromise," McDaniel said when he announced he would run for office in October.
Cochran started in the House of Representatives in 1973 before being elected to the Senate five years later.
Cochran serves as the ranking member on the Senate's Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. He also serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Cochran has more than $800,000 already in his coffers.