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Former Sen. Thad Cochran, a soft-spoken but powerful Republican who represented Mississippi in Congress for more than four decades, died Thursday at age 81.

Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Lucien Smith issues the following statement on the passing of  U.S. Senator Thad Cochran:

“My thoughts and prayers are with all of Senator Cochran’s family and friends, and the multitude of Mississippians who served as part of his extraordinary staff. Senator Cochran served his state and his nation with honor and dignity and leaves a legacy of statesmanship and service that will benefit Mississippians for decades to come.”

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