Thad Cochran

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Thad Cochran
Thad Cochran.jpg
U.S. Senate, Mississippi
In office
December 27, 1978-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 37
PredecessorJames Eastland (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2008
First electedNovember 7, 1978
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$1,723,559
AppointedDecember 27, 1978
Appointed byGovernor Cliff Finch
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
Bachelor'sUniversity of Mississippi
Master'sTrinity College, Dublin
J.D.University of Mississippi Law School
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Navy
Years of service1959-1961
Date of birthDecember 7, 1937
Place of birthPontotoc, MS
Net worth$1,971,530
ReligionSouthern Baptist
Office website
Campaign website
William Thad "Thad" Cochran (b. December 7, 1937) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Mississippi. Cochran was first elected to the Senate in 1978.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Cochran is a "centrist Republican".[1]


Cochran was born in 1937 in Ponotoc, MS, where he also attended high school. He earned his B.A. from the University of Mississippi in 1959 and his J.D. from the University of Mississippi Law School in 1965. Cochran also studied international law and jurisprudence at Trinity College, Dublin. Prior to his political career, Cochran was a practicing attorney in Jackson, MS.[2]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Cochran's professional and political career[2]:

  • U.S. Navy, 1959-1961
  • Attorney in Jackson, MS, 1965-1973
  • U.S. House of Representatives, 1973-1978

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Cochran serves on the following Senate committees[3]:

  • Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee
    • Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, Marketing and Agriculture Security
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Food and Agricultural Research
    • Subcommittee on Jobs, Rural Economic Growth and Energy Innovation
    • Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management
  • Appropriations Committee
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Department of Homeland
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Rules and Administration Committee


Cochran served on the following Senate committees[4]:


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Thad Cochran endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [5]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Cochran voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[6]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists criticized President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[7][8][9]

According to the website Breitbart, Cochran was one of 30 Republican senators who did not support the filibuster.[10][11]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[12]



On November 4, 2008, Cochran won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Erik Fleming (D) in the general election.[13]

U.S. Senate General Election, Mississippi, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngThad Cochran Incumbent 61.4% 766,111
     Democratic Erik Fleming 38.6% 480,915
Total Votes 1,247,026

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Cochran is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Cochran raised a total of $1,723,559 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[14]

Thad Cochran's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2002 U.S. Senate (Mississippi) Won $1,723,559
Grand Total Raised $1,723,559


Breakdown of the source of Cochran's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Cochran won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Cochran's campaign committee raised a total of $2,723,398 and spent $2,832,197.[15]


Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Cochran missed 353 of 12,211 roll call votes from Feb 1979 to Apr 2013, which is 2.9% of votes during that period. This is worse than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. [16]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Cochran paid his congressional staff a total of $2,698,737 in 2011. He ranked 7th on the list of the highest paid Republican Senatorial Staff Salaries and he ranked 32nd overall of the highest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Mississippi ranked 19th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[17]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Cochran's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $926,061 and $3,017,000. That averages to $1,971,530, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth decreased by 6.14% from 2010.[18]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by - The Center for Responsive Politics, Cochran's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $974,079 and $3,227,000. That averages to $2,100,539.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Senators in 2010 of $7,054,258.[19]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year, National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.


According to the data released in 2013, Cochran was ranked the 41th most conservative senator during 2012.[20]


According to the data released in 2012, Thad Cochran was ranked the 41st most conservative senator during 2011.[21]

Percentage voting with party

November 2011

Thad Cochran voted with the Republican Party 84.1% of the time, which ranked 40 among the 47 Senate Republican members as of 2011.[22]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Thad + Cochran + Mississippi + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Cochran lives with his wife, Rose, in Jackson, MS. They have two children and three grandchildren.[23]

External links


  1. Gov Track "Thad Cochran," Accessed March 3, 2012
  2. 2.0 2.1 Biographical Guide to Members of Congress "William Thad Cochran," Accessed November 3, 2011
  3. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  4. Official U.S. Senate Website "Committee Assignments," Accessed November 3, 2011
  5. The Hill, "2012 GOP Lawmaker Endorsements for President," retrieved November 23, 2011
  6. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  7. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  8. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  9. ABC News, "Rand Paul wins applause from GOP and liberals," March 7, 2013
  10. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet the GOP senators who refused to stand with Rand," March 7, 2013
  11. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  12. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  13. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008" Accessed November 3, 2011
  14. Open Secrets "Donor history for Thad Cochran" April 2013
  15. Open Secrets "Thad Cochran 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed November 3, 2011
  16. GovTrack, "Thad Cochran" Accessed April 2013
  17. LegiStorm "Thad Cochran"
  18., "Thad Cochran (R-Miss), 2011"
  19., "Cochran, (R-Mississippi), 2010"
  20. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  21. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  22. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  23. Official Senate Site "Biography" Accessed November 3, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
James O. Eastland
U.S. Senate - Mississippi
Succeeded by