Senator Eastland with President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968.
Evers (far right) with President John F. Kennedy, June 1963
Official U.S. Senate portrait of Senator James Eastland

In 1978, Evers ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Democrat James Eastland.

- Charles Evers

Partly because of the independent candidacy of Charles Evers siphoning off votes from the Democratic nominee, Maurice Dantin, Republican 4th District Representative Thad Cochran won the race to succeed Eastland.

- James Eastland

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Thad Cochran

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).

The Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate that year, Gil Carmichael, an automobile dealer from Meridian, finished with 38 percent of the vote against James Eastland but was shunned by the statewide Nixon campaign.

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.