Republican leaders are responding after news that a longtime U.S. senator has died at the age of 81.
According to NBC News, Thad Cochran, who represented Mississippi in the U.S. House and Senate for 45 years, passed away on Thursday.
Cochran was elected to the House in 1972. He then won a seat in the Senate in 1978, becoming the first Republican elected to that position by the people of Mississippi in almost a century following the Civil War.
He resigned from the Senate, after leading the Senate Appropriations Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee, in April 2018 due to health concerns, NBC affiliate WLBT reported.
Cochran has generally been regarded as a moderate Republican, according to FiveThirtyEight. But he did earn an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association, according to the Washington Post urging President Trump to get the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement.
Trump considered the senator a friend and wrote on Twitter, “Very sad to hear the news on the passing of my friend, Senator Thad Cochran. He was a real Senator with incredible values — even flew back to Senate from Mississippi for important Healthcare Vote when he was desperately ill. Thad never let our Country (or me) down!”
Other Republican leaders remembered Cochran fondly as well as they responded to his death.