COCHRAN ANNOUNCES HIS INTENT TO RESIGN FROM SENATE

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, today announced his intention to resign from the U.S. Senate effective April 1, 2018.

“I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge. 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. I’ve done my best to make decisions in the best interests of our nation, and my beloved state. 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 was first elected to the Senate in 1978, becoming the first Republican in more than 100 years to win a statewide election in Mississippi. He is the tenth-longest serving Senator in U.S. history. Cochran previously served three terms in House of Representatives.

Senator Thad Cochran Release
3/5/18

Statement from Gov. Phil Bryant: 

“Today, one of Mississippi’s greatest public servants shared with me his plans to retire. Sen. Thad Cochran’s service ushered in an era of unprecedented influence for our state and will benefit generations to come. He was a leader in Washington and a powerful advocate for every Mississippian.

I will always be grateful to Sen. Cochran for his friendship and support during my time of service. Deborah and I wish him and Kay the very best as they begin this new chapter.”

Statement from Lt. Governor Tate Reeves
“Senator Cochran’s service to our nation has made the lives of Mississippians better, and his support of our military has made America safer,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “He fought relentlessly for Mississippi from helping our farmers get their crops to market to fighting for our citizens after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the state. He earned and maintained the respect of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle even though he never shied away from a battle to protect his beloved state. Elee and I wish Senator Cochran and his family well as they enter this new chapter.”

Statement from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Leader McConnell Statement on Senator Thad Cochran
‘Today, the Senate learned that one of our longest-serving colleagues, Senator Thad Cochran, will retire on April 1st to focus on his health and enjoy more time with his family… 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.’

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released the following statement regarding Senator Thad Cochran’s retirement announcement:

“Today, the Senate learned that one of our longest-serving colleagues, Senator Thad Cochran, will retire on April 1st to focus on his health and enjoy more time with his family. Thad’s well-earned reputation as a ‘quiet persuader’ has endeared him to all his colleagues. 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. And the people of Mississippi—and our whole nation—have benefitted from his steady determination to do the latter. 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.”

MSGOP Statement

Mississippi Republican Party (MSGOP) Chairman Lucien Smith released the following statement today regarding Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) retirement announcement:

“I commend Senator Cochran for his selfless service to our state and nation over the last forty-five years. Senator Cochran has dedicated his life to serving our country and state, and his contributions helping build Mississippi are unmatched. Like all Mississippians, I wish him the very best in this well-earned retirement.”

Sen. Richard Shelby Statement

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today released the following statement regarding Senator Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss.) announcement to retire from the U.S. Senate on April 1, 2018, after more than 45 years in Congress:

“Senator Thad Cochran is a good friend and has been an excellent colleague of mine for over three decades. I wish him and his wife, Kay, well and hope we are able to continue on the wise path he has paved for those governing this great country. History will reflect Senator Cochran’s legacy of strong leadership throughout an extraordinarily impactful tenure in public office. He has represented Mississippi with the utmost dignity and respect.”

Statement of Sen. Pat Leahy

Marcelle and I count Thad among our dearest friends, and his leadership on the Appropriations Committee and in the Senate will be sorely missed. Despite being on opposite ends of the political spectrum, over the years Thad and I crossed the aisle to work hand-in-hand for the American people. Together, we championed the Farm-To-School Act. We worked together to pass the FY17 Omnibus, and he has been a steadfast partner as we moved through the FY18 appropriations process. Throughout all of this time, from our time working together on the Agriculture Committee to the Appropriations Committee, I knew I could trust Thad because he is a man of his word.

The Senate needs more devoted public servants like Thad Cochran, and I am sad to see my dear friend leave.

Statement from Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann: 

“There are no words to describe how important Senator Cochran, a true gentleman and statesman, has been to Mississippi.  While he leaves a lasting legacy in agriculture, defense, and Hurricane Katrina recovery, and a huge gap in Senate and national leadership, the citizens of Mississippi experience the largest vacuum in the loss of his public presence and influence on almost every aspect of our personal and political lives.  Lynn and I wish him and his family the best in his retirement and welcome him home.  Job well done.”

Statement from Congressman Gregg Harper: 

“Today, we all learned that one of the United States Senate’s longest-serving members and my state’s senior Senator, Thad Cochran, will retire on April 1st to focus on his health and to enjoy more time with his family.  

There is absolutely no one who has done more for the state of Mississippi than Senator Thad Cochran. He will be missed not only here in our nation’s capital, but also by his constituents across his state. He leaves an outstanding legacy of loyal dedication to his native state and to his country…standing up for our farmers, for industry and business, for our nation’s military, and for our state’s college and universities. He fought hard for Mississippi in the wake of devastating natural disasters, especially making sure Mississippi got her fair share to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

I am so honored to have had the opportunity to call Senator Cochran my colleague and my friend. As he moves on to a much deserved retirement after forty-five years in public service, I join with Mississippians everywhere in extending my sincere gratitude to him for his decades of honorable and distinguished service to Mississippi and to our nation.”

Statement from Senator Roger Wicker: 

“Thad Cochran will go down as one of the greatest leaders in our state’s history. He has been called the ‘quiet persuader’ for good reason. He commands respect through his tireless pursuit to help make Mississippi and our country a better, safer, more prosperous place to live. He has made us proud in so many ways. I wish my friend the best in retirement and thank him for a job well done.”

Congressman Gregg Harper

“Today, we all learned that one of the United States Senate’s longest-serving members and my state’s senior Senator, Thad Cochran, will retire on April 1st to focus on his health and to enjoy more time with his family.

There is absolutely no one who has done more for the state of Mississippi than Senator Thad Cochran. He will be missed not only here in our nation’s capital, but also by his constituents across his state. He leaves an outstanding legacy of loyal dedication to his native state and to his country…standing up for our farmers, for industry and business, for our nation’s military, and for our state’s college and universities. He fought hard for Mississippi in the wake of devastating natural disasters, especially making sure Mississippi got her fair share to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

I am so honored to have had the opportunity to call Senator Cochran my colleague and my friend. As he moves on to a much deserved retirement after forty-five years in public service, I join with Mississippians everywhere in extending my sincere gratitude to him for his decades of honorable and distinguished service to Mississippi and to our nation.”

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney

“With the announced retirement of Senator Thad Cochran, the people of Mississippi will lose one of its greatest champions. I have watched him, as my friend for over half a century, dedicate his career to fighting for our state, and making our state’s voice and needs heard in Washington. He will leave a lasting legacy of service to the farmers of our state, to the victims of Katrina and as a vocal supporter of our country’s defense. Mary and I wish him and his family the best as he retires after giving so much for the people of our state.”

Chris Caldwell, Federal Co-Chair of Delta Regional Authority

“Today’s news of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran’s upcoming retirement is met with gratitude for a steadfast public servant whom we will miss greatly. For nearly 40 years, Senator Cochran (R-MS) has served his constituents and fellow Americans with integrity and a passionate tenacity.

“Senator Cochran was one of the early champions for the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and has continuously fought for this agency to be a smart investor in and important partner for communities in the Mississippi River Delta and Alabama Black Belt region. The DRA wishes Senator Cochran well in his upcoming retirement and is thankful for this Great American.”
-Chris Caldwell, Federal Co-Chairman