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Honors and Awards
- 2015 & 2016 American Conservative Union’s Award for Conservative Excellence
- 2016 AFP Champion of Freedom
- Highest Lifetime Score from the American Conservative Union in MS State
- 2010 Laurel Leader Call Citizen of the Year
- MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Legislator of the Year
- Law Enforcement Officers Legislator of the Year
- Mississippi Highway Patrol legislator of the Year
- Mississippi Business Journal Top 50 Lawyers in Mississippi
- BIPEC Business Champion
- NFIB Lifetime 95% Pro-Business Ranking
- SAR Distinguished Service Award
- American Council of Young Political Leaders
- Who’s Who in American Politics
- Pine Belt Counselors’ Association Meritorious Service Award Mid-South Rising Stars
- Desk & Derrick Club Certificate of Appreciation
- William Carey University Alumni Hall of Fame
- Department of Corrections Distinguished Service Award
- Chairman of the Mississippi Senate Conservative Coalition
Chris McDaniel is a conservative leader, commentator, former federal law clerk, attorney, and state senator. He believes hope for the future is based on reclaiming the promise of freedom and liberty and that any compromise of our constitutionally guaranteed rights is a destruction of the promise of the American Dream and the foundations of our country.
A state senator since 2008, Chris has written, sponsored, and supported numerous pieces of legislation in Mississippi designed to protect individuals from federal overreach into our basic individual rights.
Chris has fought for private property rights and the restriction of eminent domain. The Student Religious Liberties Act he authored was passed into law to safeguard the right of students to pray in school. He introduced the Firearms Freedom Protection Act to protect against federal encroachment on our Second Amendment rights. He has fought for our privacy by sponsoring legislation to allow citizens to opt out of requirements to provide personal information for use in a government database.
For his accomplishments in the Mississippi State Legislature, Chris has been named a BIPEC Business Champion, Law Enforcement Officers Legislator of the Year, Mississippi Highway Patrol Legislator of the Year, MADD Legislator of the Year, and Department of Corrections Distinguished Service Award.
Chris has long been a champion fighting against job-killing increases in taxes and in support of cutting government spending. His efforts have led to him being named a two-time winner of the American Conservative Union’s Award for Conservative Excellence and a 2016 Champion for Freedom by Americans for Prosperity. In his fight for conservatism, he has been endorsed through the years by national leaders such as Donald Trump, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Sarah Palin.
Chris regularly speaks to groups across Mississippi about the need for a return to the simple perfections of the Constitution. His writings are published across a variety of legal, conservative, and news publications, and he is a frequent guest commentator in the media on the subject of responsible public policy.
Now in his third term representing Senate District 42 , Chris is a strong proponent of limited government, free enterprise, civic participation, reduced taxes, a strong national defense, states’ rights, and a return to the original checks and balances of the Constitution.
Standing for Law
After graduating from Jones County Junior College in 1992, Chris attended and graduated from William Carey College. Upon receiving his undergraduate degree, he attended Ole Miss School of Law where he finished near the top of his class.
Following graduation, he accepted a prestigious two-year federal judicial clerkship.
As a partner in the law firm of Hortman, Harlow, Bassi, Robinson & McDaniel, Chris was lead counsel in a lawsuit filed against President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, among others, seeking to declare Obamacare as unconstitutional. Chris donated his time – pro bono –for the petitioners’ efforts.
Chris is a life-long resident of Mississippi ad Jones County. His father was a professor at Jones County Junior College and his mother retired from the college in 1995. His wife, Jill, is also a professional educator at Ellisville Elementary School.
The McDaniels have two sons, Cambridge (16) and Chamberlain (12).
Chris and his family live in his hometown of Ellisville and are members of West Ellisville Baptist Church, a church he has attended for most of his life.
Proven Conservative Results
Chris has served in the Mississippi State Senate for 11 years. During that time, he has fought for conservative values, his constituents, and Mississippi taxpayers.
Chris is a firm believer that the power resides with the people, not the government. Governing should be done at the most local level possible. Governmental power should be limited, enumerated, and constrained by our Constitution. Chris wrote the “Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013” which protects students’ right to express religious belief individually and separately from public school endorsement. The bill requires a disclaimer to be provided at graduation ceremonies and other situations which allows students to engage in religious free speech. This important legislation was signed into law.
The United States is becoming more dangerous every day. Our cities are overrun with violence, drugs, and homelessness, making our neighborhoods unsafe for our families. Soft-on-crime policies do not work, that’s why Chris has fought to protect Mississippi families throughout his career.
Chris has authored multiple pieces of legislation protecting children who have been killed, sexually abused, and kidnapped. Namely, Karen’s Law, which increases the sentence for manslaughter to a maximum of 30 years for any adult who kills a minor; Nathan’s Law, which permits felony charges against anyone who passes a stopped school bus and harms or kills a child and allows for increases in fines and penalties for reoccurring offenses; and the Child Protection Act, which requires immediate reporting of a suspected sex crime against a minor, as well as, legislation that raises the penalty for filing a false police report and mandates that crime victims are entitled to a free copy of initial police incident reports.
Chris has also authored a bill that makes terrorism a crime punishable by death in a state court and adds an aggravated factor that makes it easier to impose the death penalty in state courts in cases of terrorism, which was signed into law.
Our Southern border has never been more vulnerable. Drugs and crime are flooding into our cities and the Biden Administration has done nothing to stop it. Illegal immigrants are getting our taxpayer dollars while Americans are struggling to afford basic necessities. Chris has fought to protect Mississippians since he took office. In 2008, Chris wrote and introduced the Employment Protection Act, also known as the E-Verify law, which requires all Mississippi companies to use an Internet-based system to check the legal status of potential employees. The bill was signed into law that same year. Chris also introduced bills to prohibit federal and state benefits to undocumented workers, to prohibit the creation of sanctuary cities in Mississippi, and to require undocumented aliens to pay out-of-state tuition at state schools.
American’s were told, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” and “if you like your plan you can keep your plan.” Although we know this was not true. Ever since Obamacare was signed into law, the government has increasingly interfered in Americans’ decisions to do what is best for their health, even going so far as to force vaccines on us during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the disastrous legislation, Chris led the challenge against Obamacare as lead counsel in a suit against the federal government for unconstitutionally imposing taxes on people who don’t have health insurance. Although the Supreme Court declared Obamacare constitutional, Chris has not let up in his fight to defeat Obamacare. He vocally opposed and voted against legislation aimed at implementing Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in Mississippi.
As a father of two, Chris is 100% pro-life, believing life is a God-given right. He has authored many pieces of legislation to protect the unborn and the sanctity of life. He has also volunteered his time to serve as legal counsel to several pro-life organizations throughout Mississippi. Including, serving as the pro-bono attorney for Pro-Life Mississippi in their lawsuit against Mississippi’s only abortion clinic.
Chris sponsored legislation designed to give owners of small businesses more say about state regulations that could affect their livelihoods. The bill established a 12-member Small Business Regulatory Review Committee that would examine state rules and laws that could impact businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees and less than $10 million in gross annual sales or revenues. The bill passed and was signed into law in 2012.
Chris has been a fierce advocate for the Second Amendment his entire life. Raising his two boys, Chris has made it a top priority to teach them responsible gun ownership. In the State Senate, he sponsored legislation to require Mississippi to honor any valid concealed carry permit issued by another state. This bill, which was passed and signed into law, also grants the Department of Public Safety continued authority to enter into written reciprocity agreements with other states if those states require such an agreement before recognizing Mississippi carry permits.
Today’s education system is a disaster. Our children are being indoctrinated by the far Left who are forcing Critical Race Theory and Social Emotional “Learning” in their schools and universities and parents are being told to stay out of it. Never has school choice been more important.
Chris authored the “Mississippi Opportunity Scholarship and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act of 2012” to provide scholarships to low and middle-income students in low-performing districts to pay tuition at different public schools or private schools. It also would allow parents sending their children to private schools to get a state income tax credit for the private school tuition. Chris has also led the fight against Common Core, arguing that local communities and teachers should decide how best to educate our children.
Chris believes the government has a duty to be accountable for how it spends taxpayer dollars. That’s why he introduced legislation that would require recipients of public assistance to be subject to random testing for nicotine. And that’s why Chris was one of just a few lawmakers who gave back portions of their salaries to the state’s general fund.
Everyone is feeling the crushing weight of runaway inflation and ever-growing debt, due in no small part to government overspending. Mississippians need relief.
To protect the wallets and livelihoods of all Mississippians, Chris has voted against spending bills when he believed our state could not afford them. He was one of only two state senators to vote against a $196 million borrowing bill that included millions of dollars for questionable projects, including a Grammy Museum in Cleveland, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, and $1 million for a museum to house the country music collection of singer Marty Stuart in Philadelphia.
Private Property Rights
As a first-term senator in 2010, Chris led the fight to protect private property rights. Taking on then-Gov. Haley Barbour, a fellow Republican, Chris urged his fellow state senators to override Gov. Barbour’s veto of eminent domain legislation that would prevent the government from taking private land for use by private companies.
In 2020, the United States experienced an election that put a spotlight on the lack of election integrity across the country, but the problem has been around much longer than that. Between universal ballot mailing, lack of voter ID, and more, our elections have never been more at risk for corruption. Chris has taken up the fight to secure our elections, helping defeat a poorly constructed voter ID bill that would have given felons the right to vote and instituted early voting. Instead, Chris pushed for a stronger voter ID bill that led to a statewide referendum that was approved by voters.
Protecting Real Mississippians
Chris authored Nathan’s Law which honors five-year-old Nathan Key of Jones County who was killed in 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle that passed his stopped school bus. The law permits felony charges against anyone who passes a stopped school bus and harms or kills a child and allows for misdemeanor charges against motorists who get too close to parked buses. The law requires motorists to stay at least 1-foot from a stopped school bus with fines of up to $750 for a first offense. On a second offense, violators face a fine and up to a year in prison. Nathan’s law was passed and signed into law.
Chris also authored Karen’s Law in honor of a Jones County teenager who was kidnapped, raped, and killed in 1987. The killer pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received the maximum prison sentence allowed of 20 years. Chris believed Mississippi’s manslaughter laws were far behind those of other states and authored Karen’s Law to increase the sentence for manslaughter to a maximum of 30 years for any adult who kills a minor. The bill was passed and signed into law in 2012.
Chris has worked tirelessly to protect Mississippi’s children, writing the Child Protection Act, which requires immediate reporting of a suspected sex crime against a minor. This bill was signed into law in 2012. Chris also introduced legislation that raises the penalty for filing a false police report and mandates that crime victims are entitled to a free copy of initial police incident reports.