Thad Cochran, longtime US senator, dies at 81

Former Sen. Thad Cochran, who represented Mississippi in the US Senate for decades, died Thursday morning, his longtime spokesman said in a statement.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 09: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) (C) leaves the U.S. Capitol following early morning votes February 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. Despite an attempt by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to slow down the process, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to continue to fund the government and lift strict budget caps. With the government officially in a shut down, the legislation now goes to the House of Representatives. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Cochran died in Oxford, Mississippi, said Chris Gallegos, who previously worked for the senator and now works for his successor, Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Cochran was serving in his seventh term in the US Senate and was first elected to Congress in 1972. He resigned his seat last April due to his health issues.

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