With most of Mississippi caught up in the hoopla of the Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel Republican primary, Democratic candidate Travis Childers has quietly stayed out of the conversation.
Now that the Republican and Democratic primaries are over, Childers is making his case why voters should choose him on Nov. 4.
Childers easily won the Democratic nod on June 3, and he said Monday that his campaign is moving forward towards November with a "positive" message.
"The thing with me is, I am a problem-solver and not a problem- maker," Childers said in an exclusive interview with the Sea Coast Echo. "I am a pro-business Democrat who believes in doing the right thing for Mississippi and our country."
Childers, 56, served as the Prentiss County chancery clerk for 16 years before being appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives to replace then Rep. Roger Wicker, who was appointed senator after Trent Lott stepped down in 2007.
In 2008, Childers won the Congressional seat and served another two years before losing in 2010.
He said that his experience in local government and in Congress has prepared him for the senate.
"I can't tell you how many times I sat across the table from someone I disagreed with or did not even like," Childers said. "I always tried to be fair and reasonable and solve the problem."
Known as a Blue Dog Democrat, Childers opposed the Affordable Care Act and sided with former U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor on many of Taylor's insurance reform actions.
Although he voted against the Affordable Care Act, he said that he would rather amend it instead of repealing it.
"It is the law of the land now," he said. "I am very much in favor of healthcare reform and I think we can do a better job. I would be willing to improve on the current law and move on."
In addition to pressing federal issues, Childers said he has always tried to put Mississippi first.
"If you look at Mississippi, we have four distinct areas, all of which have specific strengths," he said. "I want to promote business to come to our state. I want to continue to help our education and community college systems. It all starts with education. I will continue to work for Mississippi because nobody is going to ride in on a white horse and solve everything."
Childers vowed not to get involved in partisan politics and said he is running on his record and ability to be an independent thinker.
"I am a Democrat," he said. "But I have supported Republican and Independent ideas before. So much talk is about partisan politics and that only gets Mississippi families caught up in the middle. I have always said it is not about being on the right or left, it is about what is right and wrong."
Childers will take on Cochran on Nov. 4, barring any reversal of the Republican runoff.