Mississippi senator Thad Cochran announces he is stepping down

Cochran’s most recent race for re-election in 2014 was marked by a ferocious Republican primary.

Thad Cochran of Mississippi announced on Monday that he would step down from the US Senate on 1 April.

The octogenarian Republican was first elected to the Senate in 1978 but has long been plagued by ill health and has not played an active role on Capitol Hill in recent years. Cochran’s decision to step down means that the state’s Republican governor, Phil Bryant, will appoint a replacement who will serve until November. Then a special election will be held to…

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