WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., won a key primary runoff contest Tuesday night, securing the likelihood that Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., will resume his chairmanship of the Banking Committee if Republicans take control of the Senate next year.

Succession on the banking panel was called into question after neither Cochran nor his Tea Party challenger won the requisite 50% of votes needed during an initial primary on June 3. Had the longtime Mississippi lawmaker lost his bid for reelection, Shelby would have been in line to take over as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Cochran is currently expected to beat out his Democratic opponent in the general election this November, and thus is expected to take over the committee if the GOP controls the Senate.

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