MS appoints its first-ever female USA senator

Mississippi's Governor has chosen a replacement for Thad Cochran, but the White House isn't too happy about the pick.

Hyde-Smith, a former state senator, also noted her involvement in what was also one of Cochran's many priorities: the establishment and maintenance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's catfish inspection program.

Hyde-Smith will succeed Republican Thad Cochran, 80, who has battled health problems and will step down from his Senate seat April 1.

After her appointment was announced, McDaniel himself heavily criticized Hyde-Smith in what is certainly a preview of his campaign messaging going forward.

Hyde-Smith has made the trip to Hattiesburg a few times to speak to Forrest-Lamar Republican Women.

State Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith in April will become the first woman to represent MS in the U.S. Senate, Gov. Phil Bryant announced at an event in her hometown of Brookhaven on Wednesday.

"I know they'll attack her, but I know Cindy and if they're not careful they will draw back a nub", Lott said.

Hyde-Smith has been supportive of President Trump in the past and served on his campaign's agriculture advisory committee.

Numerous state GOP leaders voiced support, but her appointment is already drawing concern from other in-state Republicans and the White House over whether the former Democratic lawmaker has conservative bona fides. Later, she said she will run in the November 6 special election to fill the final two years of Cochran's term. I am stronger today than I think I have ever been. Espy in 1986 became the first African-American in modern times to win a congressional seat in MS, and he has publicly supported both Democrats and Republicans in various races.

Now, there are concerns that Hyde-Smith will not be able to defeat Chris McDaniel, a hard-right state senator who also is running in the November 6 special election and has been sharply critical of McConnell.

It also means that the Senate _ once Hyde-Smith is sworn in _ would have 23 female members, an all-time high.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Wednesday appointed state agriculture commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to fill outgoing U.S. Senator Thad Cochran's seat, who is retiring due to health issues. A Bryant spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But supporters say Hyde-Smith's legislative record as a Democrat was conservative and that she frequently voted with Republicans on major issues.

"My fellow Mississippians, please help me welcome our next Senator from MS, our dear friend, Cindy Hyde-Smith", said Governor Bryant.

She served 12 years as a Democrat in the state senate from her rural district before switching to the Republican party in late 2010. Although it is a deeply conservative state, Democrats are hoping to capitalize on divisions among Republicans in hopes of winning a November 27 runoff, if there is one. Some worry that if it comes down to McDaniel and a Democrat, his hard-right views could swing centrist Republican voters toward the Democrat. Noting that MS has had only five US senators in the past 70 years, Hyde-Smith said: "The history of this moment is not lost on me". The White House has been in touch with the governor over the course of the past three weeks about his selection. Luther Strange in a GOP runoff, only to see him fall short against former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore.

POLITICO reported White House aides told Bryant that President Donald Trump wouldn't campaign for her. Trump, according to one person familiar with the conversation, did not object.

Bryant told reporters after the announcement Wednesday that he has no qualms about Hyde-Smith's history as a Democrat.

  • Rogelio Becker