Evers (far right) with President John F. Kennedy, June 1963
Charles Pickering in Jones County, MS

Cochran won in a three-way general election against Democrat Maurice Dantin and Independent Charles Evers, a well-known figure in the civil rights movement.

- Charles W. Pickering

Evers later attracted controversy for his support of judicial nominee Charles W. Pickering, a Republican, who was nominated by President George H. W. Bush for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

- Charles Evers

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Thad Cochran

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American attorney and politician who served as a United States Senator for Mississippi from 1978 until his resignation due to health issues in 2018.

American attorney and politician who served as a United States Senator for Mississippi from 1978 until his resignation due to health issues in 2018.

Cochran during his time in the House of Representatives
Cochran with President Ronald Reagan in 1981
Senators Cochran (left) and Carl Levin (right) meet with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon to discuss the budgeting (April 10, 2013).

Cochran ran for the seat and won the Republican primary, defeating state senator and former Jones County prosecutor Charles W. Pickering, 69%–31% percent.

In the general election, he faced Democrat Maurice Dantin, a former district attorney who had triumphed in a four-way primary with the backing of Eastland, and Independent candidate Charles Evers, the Mayor of Fayette.