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Leaders react to Senator Cochran’s retirement

After 40 years in the U.S. Senate, Thad Cochran announced his retirement yesterday and leaders from Mississippi and across the county have commended the long-time Mississippi Senator for his work in Washington D.C.

Related: Cochran announces he will step down April 1st

Governor Phil Bryant was one of the first to send his gratitude to Cochran in the wake of the announcement.

“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.” – Governor Bryant

Bryant is now tasked with picking a temporary replacement for Cochran, and he has expressed that he will not appoint himself.

Related: Governor Bryant rules out appointing himself to U.S. Senate

Cochran’s fellow Senator, Roger Wicker issued a statement saying that the retiring Senator made Mississippi and the country a better place.

“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.” – Senator Wicker 

State officials such as Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann thanked Cochran for his service and wished him well.

“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.” – Lt. Governor Reeves. 

“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.”Secretary Hosemann 

As the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Cochran worked closely with Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. McConnell issued a lengthy statement wishing Cochran well and praising his body of work.

“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.” – Senator McConnell 

Out-going Congressman Gregg Harper knows the feeling of stepping away from such a position, and he thanked Cochran for his decades of public service.

“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.” – Congressman Harper

Congressman Steven Palazzo says that Cochran has left a legacy in Washington that will carry on even after his retirement.

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.” – Congressman Palazzo 

Cochran will retire on April 1st. His term extends through 2021, and a special election will be held to fill the seat.

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