Former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran dies at 81Baltimore Post-Examiner

Former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran dies at 81

WASHINGTON – Retired Sen. Thad Cochran died Thursday morning at a nursing home in Oxford, Miss. at age 81, according to multiple media reports.

Cochran, a Mississippi Republican, served in the upper chamber for four decades. He was chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee from January 2015 until his resignation in April 2018. Cochran served in the House of Representatives from 1973-78.

Cochran was considered a moderate conservative. He was well-respected on both sides of the aisle and served as a mentor to many lawmakers, including fellow Mississippi Republican and former Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott.

Lott told TMN last year that Cochran instilled in him the philosophy that judicial and executive branch nominees should be considered on the basis of merit rather than political ideology.

In March 2018, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) appointed then-state agriculture commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to replace Cochran. The Republican was elected to the remainder of Cochran’s term last November after winning a runoff election that garnered significant media coverage. Hyde-Smith, the first woman to represent Mississippi in Washington, is up for re-election in 2021.

Cochran’s retirement was preceded by reports of failing health. He was on occasion seen in a wheelchair being escorted by staff into the Senate chamber for votes.

Cochran received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi, and also graduated from Ole Miss’ law school. The Mississippi native practiced law for several years before entering politics.

His wife of 50 years, Rose, died in 2014 after a long illness. The couple had two children. He married longtime aide Kaye Webber the following year.

President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans offered their condolences.

This article is republished with permission from TMN 

About the author

Bryan Renbaum

Bryan is a reporter and political columnist with Baltimore Post-Examiner and has broken multiple stories involving athletic scandals. He has been interviewed by ABC's Good Morning America as well as Baltimore area radio stations. Bryan has both covered and worked in the Maryland General Assembly and is extremely knowledgeable of politics, voting patterns and American history. In addition to his regular duties, Bryan freelances for several publications and performs investigative research. He has a B.A. in Political Science. Contact the author.

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