U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has announced he intends to retire from the Senate effective April 1.
Cochran, who chairs the Senate Committee on Appropriations, cited health reasons as the primary factor in a statement today.
“I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge,” Cochran said. “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.”
Cochran has served as a senator for four decades, first being elected in 1978. At the time, he was the first Republican in more than a century to win a statewide election in Mississippi, according to a release from Cochran’s office.
His tenure is the tenth-longest in U.S. history, the release said. Add on top of that three terms in the House of Representatives.
“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.”