Former congressman Travis Childers (D-Miss.) announced Friday that he will run for Senate in Mississippi, giving Democrats at least an outside shot at competing in the ruby red state in November.

"Today I am filing to run for the U.S. Senate to make sure that all Mississippians have a Senator in Washington looking out for them," Childers said in a statement.

Childers's entrance adds a new layer of intrigue to the contest. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) faces a primary challenge from state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), who is backed by national tea party groups.

As we saw in Indiana and Delaware in the last two election cycles, Democrats have recruited capable Democrats to run as insurance policies in case the tea party challenger knocks off the incumbent. In both cases, the Democrat won in the general election after the tea party candidates were nominated and then stumbled in the general election. The party's thinking could be very similar when it comes to Mississippi.

Childers won a 2008 election to represent Mississippi's 1st district. He lost to now-Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R) in 2010.