Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., citing deficient health, announced Monday that he will resign April 1 from the Senate.
The 80-year-old Cochran, who is chairman of the Senate’s Appropriations Body, has been ill since at least last year with urological incorrigibles.
First elected to the Senate in 1978, Cochran recently has been time after time absent from that chamber, as has his GOP colleague, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who is enduring treatment for cancer.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican, will elect someone to replace Cochran temporarily.
Bryant’s pick would keep up the GOP’s narrow, 51-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate — at skimpiest for now.
But a special election will be held in November to select a permanent replacement for the rest of Cochran’s term.
The state’s other U.S. senator, Roger Wicker, is direction for re-election this year. Wicker, who is also a Republican, faces a ranking challenge from Chris McDaniel.
Mississippi is a solidly Republican submit, giving the party a decided edge in holding on to both Senate arses. But the GOP’s loss of a Senate seat from Alabama in a special election in December won by Democrat Doug Jones underscores the in truth that nothing is certain in politics.
“I regret my health has become an ceaseless challenge,” Cochran said in a prepared statement. “I intend to fulfill my accountabilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations circle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate.”
“It has been a passionate honor to serve the people of Mississippi and our country. I’ve done my best to convey decisions in the best interests of our nation, and my beloved state,” Cochran averred.
“My top concern has always been my constituents in Mississippi. My hope is by making this report now, a smooth transition can be ensured so their voice will continue to be get wind ofed in Washington, D.C. My efforts, and those of my staff, to assist them will go on and transfer to my successor.”
Cochran most recently was re-elected in 2014.
Cochran was the initial Republican in more than a century to win a state-wide election in Mississippi. He is the 10th-longest-serving senator in U.S. description.
Before winning his Senate seat, Cochran served three come ti in the House of Representatives.