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Longtime Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran Dead at 81

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Former Republican Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran died early Thursday morning in Oxford, Mississippi, at age 81.

Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978, making him the first Republican to win a statewide election in Mississippi in more than 100 years.

The Mississippi Republican also served in the House of Representatives for three terms before running for Senate, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

Cochran resigned from the Senate in April 2018.

A statement from the office of his successor, Republican Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, said that Cochran “passed away peacefully” in Oxford early Thursday.

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“Cochran’s family extends its gratitude for the support shown to the Senator by Mississippians over the years.” The University of Mississippi, where Cochran graduated from college, sent out a tweet after the news broke.

“The Ole Miss Family has lost a legend with the passing of a great Mississippian and UM alumnus in former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. His unwavering service and contributions to the university and the state are part of the lasting legacy he leaves behind,” the tweet read.

Cochran was the 10th-longest-serving senator in U.S. history.

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