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Senate 2024: Eubanks files to challenge...

Senate 2024: Eubanks files to challenge Wicker

By: Frank Corder - June 19, 2023

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and State Rep. Dan Eubanks

The DeSoto County state representative knows he faces a “David versus Goliath scenario,” but he believes the incumbent senior U.S. Senator from Mississippi is ripe for a challenge.

While most of the focus in Mississippi politics is currently on state and legislative elections this year, the 2024 Presidential and Congressional primary elections are also quickly approaching.

Mississippi’s 2024 Primary Election is set for March 12th, just four months after voters in the Magnolia State head to the polls this November. As such, candidates for federal offices are beginning to make their intentions known given the compressed primary season.

State Representative Dan Eubanks is one of those candidates. He has filed to run for the U.S. Senate in 2024.

The two-term state lawmaker submitted his Statement of Organization with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in April. Eubanks plans to challenge incumbent senior Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker in the Republican Party Primary in March.

In his first interview since declaring his intention to run for the U.S. Senate seat, Eubanks told Magnolia Tribune he knows it is a “David versus Goliath scenario,” but he is trying to be faithful to what he feels called to do.

“I’ve been praying for this for about the last year, and every time it kept coming up as this is what you’re supposed to do,” Eubanks said on Monday. “Part of [my decision to run] is my disappointment in the way [Senator Wicker] has been voting. I just had a real issue with a whole lot of the direction he’s been taking. I don’t think it accurately represents our people here in Mississippi. It certainly doesn’t represent me.”

Eubanks said at the top of his list of priorities if elected to the federal office would be to rein in the national deficit.

“We cannot continue to print money at the rate we are printing it. The world is taking note,” Eubanks said. “You know it’s because we’ve got $32 trillion in debt and about $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities. We’re talking $800,000 per man, woman and child in this country worth of debt and it’s unsustainable. But yet, they just keep on printing. So, our debt is very real. It’s going to affect Social Security. It’s going to affect the dollar’s status worldwide. Because you have politicians so unwilling to do the hard things, we are heading towards an economic apocalypse.”

Fighting the “woke garbage” impacting students and securing the Southern U.S. border are also high on Eubanks’ priorities.

“There is a lack of priority for this country,” Eubanks said, pointing to Senator Wicker’s support for Ukraine’s ability to defend itself and its border while “millions of illegal immigrants” pour into the United States.

Eubanks, a founding member of the legislative Freedom Caucus, has represented DeSoto County’s House District 25 since 2016. He is unopposed in his 2023 re-election bid. He points to his record in the state legislature as a way for voters to know who he is and what he’s about.

“I have a record of being conservative. It’s not just talk on my part,” Eubanks said. “If I say I’m going to be your conservative choice, if I say I’m going to stand on the ideals our nation was founded on, stand against the out-of-control budget deficits that we’re running and all this woke leftist, socialist garbage that keeps getting piled on and propagated out of D.C., I’m going to do it.”

Rep. Eubanks currently serves as Vice Chairman of Apportionment and Elections as well as Congressional Redistricting and Legislative Reapportionment. He also sits on House Committees on Agriculture, Appropriations, Constitution, Energy, Insurance, Judiciary A, Judiciary En Banc, and Public Health and Human Services.

Away from the Mississippi Capitol, Eubanks is a longtime business owner in DeSoto County and has served in various ministerial positions.

The state representative has never run a statewide campaign, meaning he will need significant resources to reach voters. According to the FEC, Eubanks’ entry into the U.S. Senate race came after the last campaign finance reporting deadline. As a result, no fundraising activity is currently available for Eubanks’ campaign.

However, Senator Wicker’s 1st quarter 2023 campaign finance report is online, and it shows the incumbent significantly out front of all potential challengers. Wicker raised $1.12 million between January and March this year and his current cash on hand stands at $3.46 million.

Eubanks recognizes the tremendous financial hurdle his own campaign will have against Wicker, saying the incumbent has a “pretty hefty war chest of special interest money.”

“But you know, money doesn’t guarantee wins and it doesn’t guarantee successes,” Eubanks said. “If we used the excuse of, ‘Well, what can I hope to do?’ or, ‘How can I beat the guy that’s the entrenched, establishment Republican that’s go millions of dollars in his war chest?’ nobody would ever run, and the problem just persists because he’s perceived to be unbeatable. I’ve seen unbeatable people get beaten. And so, I feel like, if nothing else, I’m going to hold [Wicker] to account for his voting record and remind him that people are watching.”

Eubanks noted that he has a good working relationship with many grassroots groups across the state. He said he will rely on those relationships to overcome the financial disadvantage as he seeks to share his message and stand on his own conservative record as a lawmaker.

“I think once you hold up my record, you’ll see that I’m not someone who’s just full of empty promises. I’ve fulfilled every campaign promise I’ve ever made, and a lot of people can’t say that. I’m not owned by any special interests,” Eubanks said. “I do what I think is right, even if that means I have to fight against my own party, and I think that’s something we see so seldom today in our political class.”

Wicker is a well-known commodity in Mississippi politics, having served in the U.S. Senate since being appointed to the seat in 2007 by former Governor Haley Barbour following the resignation of former U.S. Senator Trent Lott. He went on to win a special election in 2008 and then won full-term elections in 2012 and 2018. Wicker previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives, winning the 1st Congressional District seat in 1994, and in the Mississippi State Senate representing District 6 after winning the seat in 1987.

Wicker is the current ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee for the 118th Congress and a senior member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He previously served as the chairman and ranking member for the Commerce Committee in the 116th and 117th Congresses, respectively.

No other Republican has yet to announce a bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Senator Wicker. However, Eubanks says he has heard of at least four other potential Republicans who could throw their hat in the primary ring as well.

“If you look, it’s funny, Cindy Hyde-Smith has turned out to be the conservative out of the two Mississippi Senators, and when you have two Senators and one of them is voting one way and the other is voting another way, you’ve got to wonder what’s really going on here,” Eubanks said. “I think [Wicker] is ripe for a challenger. I know that there’s about four other people around the state that I’ve heard are considering a run as well. None of them have gone as far as I have with registering with the FEC and all of that, but I fully anticipate there being another person or two jumping into the race quite possibly.”

Eubanks said this means the incumbent Senator will have “a multiple front war he’s going to have to take on.”

“He’s going to have to come to account on his voting record, and the fact that he’s been there for almost three decades and wants to stay well into his eighties,” Eubanks said. “Our founding fathers never meant for Congress to be a career, and we’ve got so many of these politicians who treat it like it is. They lose touch with the people that sent them there to represent them.”

Senator Wicker won re-election in 2018 by pulling in nearly 83% in a two-man Republican Primary and then won the General Election with over 58% in a four-man race that featured Democratic, Reform, and Libertarian nominees.

Thus far, the only other known candidate running for U.S. Senate in 2024 is a Democrat, setting up a General Election matchup between the two major political parties in the presidential election year. Ty Pinkins is actively campaigning across the state seeking to be the Democratic Party’s nominee. Pinkins’ 1st quarter campaign finance report showed he had raised $21,500 and has $5,700 cash on hand.

The 2024 General Election is scheduled for November 5th.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: