Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS), 80, has announced he will retire on April 1 due to health concerns. From Roll Call:

“I regret my health has become an ongoing challenge,” the Mississippi Republican said in a statement.

“I intend to fulfill my responsibilities and commitments to the people of Mississippi and the Senate through the completion of the 2018 appropriations cycle, after which I will formally retire from the U.S. Senate,” Cochran added.

He stayed home last fall for a month due to urinary tract infections.

The people of Mississippi elected Cochran to the Senate in 1978 after he served the state in the House for six years.

Gov. Phil Bryant (R) will appoint a replacement and then the state will hold a special election to finish Cochran’s term, which ends in 2021.