Thad Cochran to resign from Senate effective April 1 - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

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Thad Cochran to resign from Senate effective April 1

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran announced his intention to resign from the U.S. Senate effective April 1, 2018. Source: WLBT Archives U.S. Senator Thad Cochran announced his intention to resign from the U.S. Senate effective April 1, 2018. Source: WLBT Archives
WASHINGTON, D. C (WLBT) -

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, has announced his intention to resign from the U.S. Senate effective April 1, 2018.

"I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge. I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate," said Cochran in a statement Monday. "It has been a great honor to serve the people of Mississippi and our country. I’ve done my best to make decisions in the best interests of our nation, and my beloved state. My top concern has always been my constituents in Mississippi. My hope is by making this announcement now, a smooth transition can be ensured so their voice will continue to be heard in Washington, D.C.  My efforts, and those of my staff, to assist them will continue and transfer to my successor."

Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978, becoming the first Republican in more than 100 years to win a statewide election in Mississippi.  He is the tenth-longest serving Senator in U.S. history. 

Governor Phil Bryant posted his statement on Twitter.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker released a statement saying:

Thad Cochran will go down as one of the greatest leaders in our state’s history. He has been called the ‘quiet persuader’ for good reason. He commands respect through his tireless pursuit to help make Mississippi and our country a better, safer, more prosperous place to live. He has made us proud in so many ways. I wish my friend the best in retirement and thank him for a job well done.

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves released a statement saying: 

Senator Cochran’s service to our nation has made the lives of Mississippians better, and his support of our military has made America safer. He fought relentlessly for Mississippi from helping our farmers get their crops to market to fighting for our citizens after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the state. He earned and maintained the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle even though he never shied away from a battle to protect his beloved state. Elee and I wish Senator Cochran and his family well as they enter this new chapter.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann released a statement regarding the announcement saying: 

There are no words to describe how important Senator Cochran, a true gentleman and statesman, has been to Mississippi.  While he leaves a lasting legacy in agriculture, defense, and Hurricane Katrina recovery, and a huge gap in Senate and national leadership, the citizens of Mississippi experience the largest vacuum in the loss of his public presence and influence on almost every aspect of our personal and political lives.  Lynn and I wish him and his family the best in his retirement and welcome him home.  Job well done.

U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper released a statement saying:

Today, we all learned that one of the United States Senate’s longest-serving members and my state’s senior Senator, Thad Cochran, will retire on April 1st to focus on his health and to enjoy more time with his family.  

There is absolutely no one who has done more for the state of Mississippi than Senator Thad Cochran. He will be missed not only here in our nation’s capital, but also by his constituents across his state. He leaves an outstanding legacy of loyal dedication to his native state and to his country…standing up for our farmers, for industry and business, for our nation’s military, and for our state’s college and universities. He fought hard for Mississippi in the wake of devastating natural disasters, especially making sure Mississippi got her fair share to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

I am so honored to have had the opportunity to call Senator Cochran my colleague and my friend. As he moves on to a much deserved retirement after forty-five years in public service, I join with Mississippians everywhere in extending my sincere gratitude to him for his decades of honorable and distinguished service to Mississippi and to our nation.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement regarding Senator Thad Cochran’s retirement announcement:

Today, the Senate learned that one of our longest-serving colleagues, Senator Thad Cochran, will retire on April 1st to focus on his health and enjoy more time with his family. Thad’s well-earned reputation as a ‘quiet persuader’ has endeared him to all his colleagues. Whatever the issue at hand, his allies and adversaries have always admired his unfailingly even keel, sober expertise, and respectful demeanor.

Thad knows there’s a big difference between making a fuss and making a difference. And the people of Mississippi—and our whole nation—have benefited from his steady determination to do the latter. Senator Cochran’s talents made him chairman of the Appropriations Committee. At this key post, his calm and collegial approach to even the most intense debates have made his broad experience and deep expertise that much more valuable to his colleagues, his constituents, and his country.

His friends here in the Senate are sad to see him leave us. But the Senator leaves behind an outstanding legacy of standing up for all of his constituents – from farmers to historically black colleges and universities to Gulf Coast communities that were reeling after Hurricane Katrina. Senator Cochran departs with our congratulations and gratitude for so many years of honorable and distinguished service, from his time as a Navy officer to nearly four decades in the Senate, and our warmest wishes for his retirement.

State senator Chris McDaniel announced that he will be challenging Republican Senator Roger Wicker in the Congressional race this November. He released a statement saying: 

I wish Senator Cochran nothing but the best in his retirement and thank him for his service to Mississippi in the United States Senate.

Given Senator Cochran’s retirement, I will continue to monitor developments regarding his replacement and the Special Election that will follow.

What is important is that Mississippi now has the unique opportunity to send two conservatives to the US Senate to help President Trump get his ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda passed. If Mississippi won’t send conservatives to the United States Senate, who will?

While it is certain that Mississippi will have two US Senate races this year, I am currently focused on my campaign against Roger Wicker, but all options remain on the table as we determine the best way to ensure that Mississippi elects conservatives to the United States Senate.

Cochran previously served three terms in House of Representatives.

This is a developing story.

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