Mississippi official says still-living ex-senator ‘deceased’

State / Regional
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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s Republican secretary of state, Delbert Hosemann, is publicly apologizing after he incorrectly told college students that Republican former U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran is “deceased.”
    
The 81-year-old Cochran is alive.
    
The Clarion Ledger reports Hosemann spoke Thursday to University of Mississippi journalism students in Oxford. In a recording sent to the newspaper, one student asked Hosemann how close he and Cochran are. Hosemann replied: “He’s deceased, so I’m not real close.”
    
He then praised Cochran’s leadership, using past tense.
    
Cochran retired from the Senate amid health concerns in 2018 and is living in Oxford. A former chief of staff, Brad White, says he saw Cochran on Thursday “and he’s very much alive.”
    
Hosemann is running for lieutenant governor. He said: “I made an improper comment, and I sincerely apologize.”
    

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