Gov. Appoints First Woman to Represent State in Congress

Gov. Appoints First Woman to Represent State in Congress
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Newly Appointed U.S. Senator Cindy-Hyde Smith with Supporters
Associated Press

It's a first for Mississipp. The governor is appointing a woman to replace retiring U.S. Senator Thad Cochran. As MPB's Desare Frazier reports, she'll actually wear two hats.

Supporters, families and friends gathered in Brookhaven, the hometown of Cindy Hyde-Smith, for the official announcement. Governor Phil Bryant has appointed the state's Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner to replace retiring U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.

"I will tell you she has the intestinal fortitude that can make things happen, that can stand and make difficult decisions," said Bryant.

Hyde-Smith, a former three term state senator says she'll focus on issues that include rebuilding the military and protecting the unborn child.

"I have a record of conservatism. I have a record of accomplishments in getting things done for you and that is exactly what I'll do for you as your U.S. Senator," said Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith will be learning the U.S. Senate job and campaigning for the November special election at the same time.

"The energy level is high and I do accept this position with honor with pride and total energy to go there, do my job, learn my job, and to come back and campaign," said Hyde-Smith.

Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel, a conservative, is also running for Cochran's seat. He said in a statement Hyde-Smith's only legislative experience was that of a Democrat and that she voted like a Democrat. Hyde-Smith switch parties in 2010. That doesn't bother Dan Campbell who knows her.

"If anything I think that shows her ability to reach across the aisle and work with the other party rather than seeing it as a negative," said Campbell.

Mike Espy a Democrat and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture is campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat. He said in a statement he looks forward to discussing agricultural issues and others impacting Mississippians.