Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) resigned from office on Monday, effective April 1. He has been in failing health for several months.
“Longtime Republican Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told The Associated Press on Monday that he will resign April 1 because of health problems,” the wire service reported from Jackson, Mississippi late Monday afternoon:
Cochran, who turned 80 in December, stayed home for a month last fall with urinary tract infections, returning to Washington in October to give Republicans the majority they needed to pass a budget plan.
“I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge,” Cochran said in a statement. “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.”
Attention now turns to Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, who under state law has the authority to appoint a temporary replacement to serve in the U.S. Senate until a special election, when Missisippi voters can select a permanent replacement to fill out the remainder of Cochran’s term, which ends in January 2021. The full six year term will be up to the voters of Mississippi in November 2020.
November 2018 may be the most likely time for that special election.
Mississippi’s other U.S. Senator, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), is up for re-election to another full six year term in November of this year.
Wicker faces Tea Party favorite, conservative State Senator Chris McDaniel in the June 5 Republican primary.
McDaniel was defeated by Cochran in a Republican primary runoff in June 2014 by one percent of the vote in a race that Tea Party activists considered to be unfair and stolen.
Breitbart has written extensively about Cochran’s failing health in recent months, an issue that was a topic of concern back in the 2014 election.
Earlier in 2014, Breitbart reported on Cochran’s “unbelievable skill for having federally funded buildings named after him.”
Gov. Bryant is likely to come under intense pressure from conservatives and Tea Party activists in Mississippi to appoint McDaniel to the seat many believe was stolen from him in 2014.
For Immediate Release
Date: March 5, 2018
Senator Chris McDaniel’s Statement on Senator Thad Cochran’s Retirement
“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.”