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.