Senate Ag Leader Thad Cochran to Step Down

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Cochran was the first Republican in more than a century to win a state-wide election in Mississippi.

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.

Cochran (or his handlers) may, however, have also been playing some MS politics, delaying the announcement until after the March 1 qualifying deadline for the 2018 elections.

The Washington Post reported in early February that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had asked Mississippi's governor, Republican Phil Bryant, to appoint himself to Cochran's senate in the event of the senator's resignation, according to two unnamed people familiar with the conversations. Likely prospects include Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves (whose elevation would let Bryant choose the front-runner to become his own successor in 2019) and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. But McDaniel has left the door open to switching to a special election race for Cochran's seat.

"The control of the U.S. Senate may ride on it", White said.

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Cochran is the 10th longest-serving senator in history. Republican Sen. Roger Wicker is already up for re-election in the deeply conservative state. Cochran's service to our nation has made the lives of Mississippians better, and his support of our military has made America safer.

"I want him to be healthy and happy", McDaniel says. Senator Thad Cochran was elected to the United States Senate in 1978 and now, four decades later, he is resigning after citing poor health. Time Magazine dubbed him "The Quiet Persuader" for his behind the scenes consensus building in the Senate. "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".

The Latest on the retirement of Mississippi Sen.

"His friends here in the Senate are sad to see him leave us". That race grabbed national attention after a McDaniel supporter entered a nursing home without permission and photographed Cochran's wife, Rose, who was bedridden with dementia.