It was the Mississippi primary race between 40-year-term Senator Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel in 2014 that revealed just how far the GOPe would go to keep a grip on their power. The establishment and Mitch McConnell were willing to do anything to protect Thad Cochran despite his infirmity and near certain senility.
Senator Cochran was barely awake for the past few years. Today his staff announce his retirement effective April 1st:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, today announced his intention to resign from the U.S. Senate effective April 1, 2018.
“I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge. 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.
“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.”
Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978, becoming the first Republican in more than 100 years to win a statewide election in Mississippi. He is the tenth-longest serving Senator in U.S. history. Cochran previously served three terms in House of Representatives. (LINK)
Chris McDaniel (pictured above) was already planning a primary challenge to Mississippi GOP Senator Roger Wicker. It will be interesting to see what comes next.
Mitch Tyner (circled) was Chris McDaniel’s lawyer in the divisive 2014 GOP election. The 2016 Donald Trump Republican primary race was a national example of the same conflicts between the establishment and outsiders that existed in Mississippi 2014.