Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran announced Monday that he will resign on April 1, 2018.
“I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge,” said the Senate Committee on Appropriations chairman. “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.”
“It has been a great honor to serve the people of Mississippi and our country,” he continued. “I’ve done my best to make decisions in the best interests of our nation, and my beloved stated.”
“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’s election to the Senate in 1978 was the first time a Republican had won a state-wide election in the state in 100 years.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed Cochran’s abrupt resignation Monday afternoon.
“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 benefitted from his steady determination to do the latter,” McConnell wrote. “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.”