Sen. Thad Cochran leaves lasting legacy


Last week, Mississippians paid their last respects to a gentleman who spent a lifetime helping his home state.

Sen. Thad Cochran was a true statesman who recognized his role was that of public servant, and that means servant to all, regardless of a person’s station in life.

Tallahatchie County was particularly blessed by his work to help us secure funding to restore the courthouse in Sumner. Through his strong efforts, working in conjunction with others, over $800,000 in federal funds were secured to bring the old Sumner courthouse back to its 1955 appearance, a year when it gained permanent notoriety as the setting for the trial of those accused of murdering Emmett Till.

Sen. Cochran helped make sure that generations to come could visit that site and experience the setting of an important piece of American history. Sen. Cochran spoke at the courthouse rededication.

He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This federal program is important to our farmers, sportsmen and women. It takes lands out of production and puts the land into wildlife habitat, timber production or conservation areas. Through this program and many others, Sen. Cochran sought out ways he could help the people.

Sen. Cochran was determined to make sure his office was receptive to all Mississippians. His constituent services programs were excellent. Any person in his office receiving a complaint from a caller was instructed to treat the caller with the utmost respect and to do everything possible to solve their problem from an attitude of representing the caller and not the government. It worked. Mississippians elected and re-elected him to the point that he was one of the most long-serving members of the United States Senate.

Mississippi will long realize the benefits of Senator Cochran’s dignified, earnest service to us all.

He never let partisan politics stand in the way of doing good for Mississippi.

All of us in elected office would do well to emulate his example.

Tommy Reynolds, D-Water Valley, represents District 33 in the Mississippi House of Representatives, where he has served since 1980.

IN THE PHOTO: The body of former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) lies in state Monday, June 3, in the Mississippi Capitol rotunda in Jackson.  Cochran was 81 when he died May 30 in a veterans’ nursing home in Oxford.  Having retired in 2018, he is the 10th longest-serving senator in United States history. Cochran was elected to the U.S. House in 1972 and to the Senate in 1978.  (Photo by Tommy Reynolds)


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