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Cochran says he's not familiar with tea party

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JACKSON, Miss. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Veteran Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi says he's not familiar with the tea party, even though he's being challenged by a supporter of the populist movement.

The 76-year-old Cochran is running for a seventh Senate term.

He told Jackson, Miss., television stations on Monday that, in his words, "the tea party, you know, is something I don't really know a lot about."

Cochran is being challenged in the June 3 GOP primary by state Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville. He's an attorney with strong support from tea party groups.

The 41-year-old McDaniel says the tea party remark shows that Cochran is out of touch.

Cochran was elected to the Senate in 1978 after six years in the House.

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