Sen. Thad Cochran Will Leave The Senate, Citing Health Problems

Sen. Thad Cochran Will Leave The Senate, Citing Health Problems

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced he will resign from the Senate on April 1, amid widespread reports of his deteriorating health.

Cochran, now 80-years-old, has been suffering from health problems in recent months, causing him to miss several weeks in the Senate last fall while recuperating from a urinary tract infection. He's been in shaky physical and psychological health for a good while now, and may have been postponing his retirement to get another cycle of federal spending under his belt as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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.

More news: Amazon says it will no longer sell Nest products

Mike Espy, who was elected in the 1980s as the state's first African American U.S. House member since the 1800s and who served as secretary of agriculture in the Bill Clinton administration, said soon after Cochran's announcement he meant to run in the special election.

McDaniel announced last week he is challenging the state's other USA senator, Republican Roger Wicker of Tupelo, who is up for re-election this year. It comes the week after conservative firebrand state Sen. After losing to McDaniel in the first round of the primaries, Cochran squeaked through the runoff 51/49, allegedly with help from black Democratic voters who preferred the feeble establishmentarian to the right-wing firebrand. The special election will be same day as the regular election for the seat Wicker now holds. Last time McDaniels ran, the race became so combative it resulted in one Tea Party leader's suicide.

Republicans are anxious that one or both of Mississippi's Senate seats could be in jeopardy unless a top replacement is named for Cochran.

More news: James Ivory becomes Oscar's oldest victor with 'Call Me by Your Name'

Sen. Thad Cochran speaks at "Making AIDS History: A Roadmap for Ending the Epidemic" at the Hart Senate Building on June 14, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

"I've done my best to make decisions in the best interests of our nation, and my beloved state", Cochran said in his statement Monday.

Mississippi GOP Gov. Phil Bryant will select Cochran's replacement. The state's other senator, Roger Wicker, is up for reelection to begin with and is being challenged in the primary by - you guessed it - Chris McDaniel, back for another shot.

More news: Cops find another victim tied to alleged 'Gay Village' serial killer

Related Articles