Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Longtime Mississippi Sen. Cochran will retire

Longtime Mississippi Sen. Cochran will retire

While he survived a brutal and controversial Senate primary in 2014, Thad Cochran of MS, citing his failing health, is resigning effective April 1.

Espy says in a statement that it has been some time since he worked in Washington "and I have witnessed with dismay the continuing dysfunction". "I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of MS and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate", Mr. Cochran said in a statement.

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Cochran barely won the GOP nomination in 2014. He commands respect through his tireless pursuit to help make MS and our country a better, safer, more prosperous place to live. In 1972, Cochran was elected into Congress and served until 1978, when he was elected into the Senate.

McDaniel had been waiting to see what Cochran was going to do this year.

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But after Cochran's announcement on Monday, McDaniel issued a statement suggesting he did not rule out withdrawing from that race and running for Cochran's seat instead. MS is one of 14 states that require that a special election be held to fill a vacancy in the office of U.S. Senator.

Whatever his motives, Cochran has put his political ally Governor Phil Bryant firmly into the catbird seat with respect to his soon-to-be vacant Senate seat. Roger Wicker, also of MS, yelled and gestured to draw the clerk's attention to Cochran, who continued to stare ahead. He is the tenth-longest serving senator in the nation's history. My top concern has always been my constituents in Mississippi. A special election will be held in November to fill the rest of Cochran's term, which runs through January 2021. As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he steers hundreds of millions in federal dollars to his home state each year.

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"On the Senate side, Thad Cochran was in charge, and few if any senators were of a mind to question what he wanted to do for the states hit by Katrina", Barbour wrote. A Mississippi Republican operative said an early list of names to watch as potential Bryant appointees includes state House Speaker Philip Gunn, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, secretary of state Delbert Hosemann, state auditor Stacey Pickering and agriculture commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith.

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