Retirement Signals for Thad Cochran?

The veteran Republican senator is announcing his re-election plans at the end of the month.

Thad Cochran (R-MS) listens during a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 9, 2009.                                                                                                                                                                                
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Nov. 12, 2013, 4:23 a.m.

Mis­sis­sippi GOP Sen. Thad Co­chran an­nounced he will be de­cid­ing his re-elec­tion plans at the end of the month, amid grow­ing signs that the six-term sen­at­or could be head­ing for the exits.

Co­chran, the second longest-serving Re­pub­lic­an in the up­per cham­ber, is fa­cing the pro­spect of a com­pet­it­ive Re­pub­lic­an primary. An out­spoken con­ser­vat­ive lead­er in the Mis­sis­sippi le­gis­lature, state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), an­nounced a primary against the in­cum­bent last month. Co­chran raised only $53,000 in the last fun­drais­ing quarter — a paltry sum for the long­time ap­pro­pri­at­or.

An­noun­cing at the end of the month would mean Co­chran would be pub­li­ciz­ing his de­cision dur­ing a slow Thanks­giv­ing week, not an ideal time to launch a reelec­tion cam­paign.

For now, Co­chran is fo­cused on passing a farm bill through Con­gress in a state that re­ceives a large share of ag­ri­cul­tur­al sub­sidies. He’s one of four lead ne­go­ti­at­ors on the le­gis­la­tion.

“Just try­ing to do a good job right now. I’m not fo­cused on the fu­ture right now-just car­ry­ing out my cur­rent re­spons­ib­il­it­ies. That’s a full time job,” Co­chran told WTVA-TV.

COR­REC­TION: Co­chran is the second-most seni­or Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­or; an earli­er ver­sion of the story ranked him as the most seni­or.

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