Published: Thu, March 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

MS agriculture official expected to go to US Senate

MS agriculture official expected to go to US Senate

Cindy Hyde-Smith is expected to become Mississippi's first female US senator Wednesday and will accept Gov. Phil Bryant's appointment during a ceremony in her hometown of Brookhaven, according to The (Brookhaven) Daily Leader. Thad Cochran's Senate seat when he resigns on April 1.

A former Democrat who served in the state legislature before being elected to head the agriculture and commerce panel in 2011, Hyde-Smith will be the first woman to represent MS in the Senate.

Hyde-Smith, 58, would be the first woman to represent MS in Congress.

Senator Roger Wicker commented on Hyde-Smith's appointment to the USA senate saying, "Governor Phil Bryant has made an excellent and historic pick in Cindy Hyde-Smith to be our next United States Senator". In 1986, Espy became the first African-American in modern times to win a congressional seat in Mississippi.

When Cochran, 80, announced his resignation March 5, there were numerous Republicans reported as possible contenders for the appointment.

That's why Hyde-Smith's appointment, and presumed candidacy for the seat, is raising eyebrows among some Republicans nationally-namely because Hyde-Smith is a former Democrat. Hyde-Smith could be able to call on support from agricultural interests, which are strong in MS, one of the nation's most rural states.

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Cochran's retirement put another Senate seat in play for November's mid-term elections. She served admirably in the Mississippi Senate and as our Commissioner of Agriculture, and I know she will be an effective, conservative Senator from day one. It and Vermont are the only two USA states that never have elected a woman to Congress. Phil Bryant, a Republican, will appoint his replacement. In 2016, she was one of many agriculture advisers to Trump's presidential campaign.

Hyde-Smith is also an advocate for women in leadership, saying in 2017 "women tend to offer a unique perspective when it comes to establishing a vision for the future and vetting possible solutions". "The Republican party in the state of MS is sort of struggling right now". The White House has been in touch with the governor over the course of the past three weeks about his selection. Thad CochranMississippi gov to fill Cochran seat with agriculture commissioner: report GOP leaders see finish line on omnibus deal McDaniel to run for open Senate seat in Miss. rather than challenge Wicker MORE (R).

Hyde-Smith is a beef cattle farmer, along with her husband, Mike, and daughter Anna-Michael. Trump, according to one person familiar with the conversation, did not object.

She pledged to work closely with Mississippi's other Republican senator, Roger Wicker, and to promote President Donald Trump's agenda.

The Republican governor of MS intends to appoint a former Democrat to fill the seat Senator Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is vacating next month.

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