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Thad Cochran endorses Jeb Bush for president

The Republican chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee is endorsing Jeb Bush for president.

Thad Cochran of Mississippi announced his decision Tuesday, saying in a statement that the former Florida governor is “a serious leader with executive experience and a forward-looking vision.”

“He offers real solutions to lead our nation, to return more power to the states and to keep us secure. I’m confident Jeb Bush will make America strong and safe and free again. I am proud to support Jeb Bush for President,” Cochran said.

Cochran won a seventh term in 2014 after defeating a tea party-backed state lawmaker in a bitter Republican primary. Mississippi-based political consultant Austin Barbour, who worked on the Cochran campaign, is now working for Bush.

The campaign says Cochran is the fourth U.S. senator to endorse Bush, who is also backed by 26 House members.

Mississippi’s other U.S. senator, Republican Roger Wicker, has not endorsed a presidential candidate.

Two of the state’s four U.S. House members have chosen favorites. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson has endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Republican Rep. Gregg Harper has endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

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