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Pickering to run for Senate if Cochran decides against reelection

Add State Auditor Stacey Pickering to the list of potential candidates for the U.S. Senate if Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) decides not to seek reelection in 2014.

Cochran has held the seat since 1978 and has said he’ll decide by the end of this month whether to seek another six-year term. However, a Cochran spokesman said the senator hasn’t specified when he’ll announce his plans.

If he seeks another term, Cochran will run with the advantages of incumbency, including name recognition and nearly $804,000 in campaign cash already on hand. If he doesn’t run, the race is expected to attract several candidates.

Pickering, a Republican, was elected state auditor in 2007 and re-elected in 2011.

Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced in October he is running for Senate, regardless of what Cochran does.

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