Sen. Thad Cochran resigning in April

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One thing is certain though, Gov. Bryant will not put himself in the Seat. Markets rebound McConnell tees up budget deal McConnell urging MS gov to appoint himself if Cochran resigns: report MORE (R-Miss.) when Cochran steps down next month. "[It should be] those who would go to the U.S. Senate and basically defend not only the Constitution but also be able to recognize the limitations of the constitutional authority over the states - primarily the Tenth Amendment".

Espy says in a statement that it has been some time since he worked in Washington "and I have witnessed with dismay the continuing dysfunction". And 80-year-old Sen. Thad Cochran announced Monday that he is resigning April 1 because of poor health.

Before being elected to the Senate in 1978, Cochran served three terms in the House.

The victor of that race will then serve out the remainder of Cochran's term through January 2021, MS election law dictates. Bryant says he will appoint a temporary senator after that, and he's looking for someone who could serve at least 20 years. In 1986 he became the first African-American in modern times to win a congressional seat in Mississippi.

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In regards to Cochran's seat, the tea party-backed MS senator Chris McDaniel said he hoped to challenge Wicker but also said he might jump into the Cochran special election.

Without a formidable Republican in the race for Cochran's seat, there is a risk that McDaniel could have the inside track. Six Democrats, including two state lawmakers, qualified to run in the Wicker seat.

After the December election of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones, Republicans effectively held a 51-49 advantage.

The state's primary is slated for June 5, but with Cochran leaving Capitol Hill early, here's a look at what will happen to his seat.

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McDaniel told reporters Monday in Jackson, "It's premature to discuss at this stage". And after Republicans' bruising loss in Alabama past year, party leaders are eager to block any risky candidates.

Senator Cochran, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, is a senior member on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry - a panel he chaired during the 108 Congress.

"Senator Cochran was instrumental in securing seed cotton's eligibility for support under the 2014 Farm Bill", NCC Chairman Ron Craft said. Images of her appeared briefly online. The state senator nearly toppled Cochran in a tough 2014 primary.

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