But as the 1972, three of them announced that they would be retiring at once, creating a sudden opening for Mississippi Republicans.
And, also like Lott, Cochran was a former Democrat who switched to the GOP for his congressional run in 1972.
George Wallace, a segregationist Dem running as an independent, had the state sewn up. So as Cochran recalled in this @Miller_Center interview, the job was a bit thankless.
When Eastland retired in 1978, Cochran ran to replace him in another hotly contested three-way race.