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Sen. Thad Cochran’s Wife Dies at 73

From the archives: Rose and Thad Cochran at the "Gourmet Gala" in 2004. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
From the archives: Rose and Thad Cochran at the "Gourmet Gala" in 2004. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rose Clayton Cochran, wife of Mississippi GOP Sen. Thad Cochran, died Friday morning after a long battle with dementia, Cochran’s office announced. She was 73.  

She battled dementia for years, but had been moved to hospice care in Mississippi in the past two weeks, her daughter, Kate Cochran, said in a Facebook post . Sen. Cochran was at her bedside at the time of her death, but will return to Washington, D.C., to vote on the government funding bill, the Clarion-Ledger reported . Rose Cochran became a campaign issue in her husband’s fierce primary battle for a seventh term in the Senate earlier this year. Clayton Kelly, a blogger and supporter of Cochran’s primary opponent, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, allegedly posted photographs and video of Rose Cochran that had been illegally captured from the nursing home where she resided.  

Four people, including Kelly, were arrested in connection with the incident .  

Conservative outside groups spent millions on the contest to boost McDaniel. But Cochran went on to win by about 8,000 votes in a runoff election, shocking election observers.  

Born Dec. 28, 1940, Rose Cochran grew up in New Albany, Miss. She married Thad Cochran in 1964, eight years before he was first elected to the House.  

Following his election to Congress, the couple moved with their children to northern Virginia, and Rose Cochran was involved in numerous organizations in the Washington, D.C., metro area, including the American Red Cross, the Senate Wives Club, the American Cancer Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution, among others.  

Aside from her husband, Rose Cochran is survived by her two children, Kate and Clayton, and three grandchildren, Sam, Thaddeus and Lizzie.  

The family requests that donations be made to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League or the Friends of the Library at the University of Mississippi, two organizations Rose Cochran supported, in lieu of flowers.  

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