Senator Thad Cochran, an octogenarian Republican from Mississippi who serves as chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, announced Monday that he is resigning from the Senate on April 1 because of ill health — a decision that will create two Senate races in his home state in November. He 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 United States history.Senator Thad Cochran
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.