Thad Cochran Marries Aide After Denying Their Alleged Affair

file photo of Sen. Thad Cochran
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), 77, adamantly declared that there was no affair between him and top aide Kay Webber, 76, during his bid for re-election. His staff also insisted there was nothing to the rumors that surrounded the couple.

Now, it seems Cochran has used to cover of Memorial Day to minimize news that the two have wed.

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) married a longtime aide on Saturday, one year after his office swatted down rumors of a romance amid criticism of their shared taxpayer-funded travel.

Cochran, 77, married Kay Webber, 76, an executive assistant who first joined his office in 1981, in a private family ceremony in Gulfport, Miss., his office said in a one-sentence statement Monday.

Their relationship sparked a key dispute during his reelection campaign last year, as supporters of his challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, pointed out that Webber had traveled with Cochran on dozens of Senate trips overseas.

Whatever the circumstances of the late Mrs. Cochran — she suffered from dementia and spent 13 years in a Mississippi nursing home before her death in December — clearly, Cochran did not feel voters were entitled to the truth.

Over the past 12 years, records showed that Webber had joined Cochran on more than 30 publicly funded international trips costing more than $150,000, the Clarion-Ledger reported in 2014.

Critics also pointed to records that showed the six-term senator rented the basement apartment of Webber’s $1.6 million Washington rowhouse as proof of an untoward relationship.


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