I want to thank Senator Thad Cochran for his leadership, dedication and service to our state.
Senator Roger Wicker commented on Hyde-Smith's appointment to the US senate saying, "Governor Phil Bryant has made an excellent and historic pick in Cindy Hyde-Smith to be our next United States Senator". Now in his seventh term, Cochran is resigning effective April 1 for health reasons.
Hyde-Smith spoke following Bryant's announcement in her hometown of Brookhaven on Wednesday afternoon. The regulation of catfish and a similar species from Asia has been key to the domestic catfish industry.
Hyde-Smith grew up in the small town of Monticello in southern Mississippi.
She highlighted her support for Second Amendment rights and opposition to abortion, as well as advocacy for the state's defense business.
"I'm also looking forward to working with Pres. Trump and everyone else who believes in the policies and principles that's making America great again", she said.
Hyde-Smith, 58, would immediately begin campaigning for the November 6 special election to fill the rest of Cochran's term, which expires in January 2020. She would be the first female member of Congress representing Mississippi.
Hyde-Smith has been supportive of President Trump in the past and served on his campaign's agriculture advisory committee. The 80-year-old, first elected to the Senate in 1978 after serving six years in the House, was the first Republican elected to the Senate from MS since Reconstruction ended.
There is no primary for the special election. Espy in 1986 became the first African-American in modern times to win a congressional seat in Mississippi. McDaniel had announced past year that he would be challenging Senator Roger Wicker, who is up for re-election in November, but decided in recent weeks to switch his candidacy to the race for Cochran's seat, a fact that makes it significantly more likely that McDaniel could win the primary and, by extension, the General Election given Mississippi's status as a strongly red state.
Phil Bryant is preparing to fill an upcoming vacancy in the U.S. Senate, and three state Republican sources told The Associated Press that he will choose the state agriculture commissioner who helped advise Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016.
Bryant responded that he meant to pick Hyde-Smith for the post, anyway.
Cindy Hyde-Smith, a 58-year-old Republican, was elected agriculture commissioner in 2011 and has held the job since then. "His contributions to the state of MS have been invaluable", Commissioner Hyde-Smith said.
But more recently McDaniel, who has a strong following among grass-roots conservatives, announced he was switching to a race for Cochran's seat no matter who was appointed to replace him.
The conversation was described by two White House aides with direct knowledge of the call. Chris McDaniel came within an eyelash of unseating Cochran in the Republican run-off. "Instead of unifying around my candidacy, and beating the Democrats, the establishment is once again going to waste millions of dollars of donors' money over what should have been a safe Republican seat in MS".
She said she was humbled by Bryant's choice to appoint her. Some worry that if it comes down to McDaniel and a Democrat, his hard-right views could swing centrist Republican voters toward the Democrat. The White House has been in touch with the governor over the course of the past three weeks about his selection. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerMississippi gov to fill Cochran seat with agriculture commissioner: report Senate Commerce presses Facebook, Cambridge Analytica for answers on data McDaniel to run for open Senate seat in Miss. rather than challenge Wicker MORE (R) in favor of seeking Cochran's former seat. Trump endorsed Luther Strange in 2017, only to have the establishment-backed lawmaker lose in the primary to Republican Roy Moore.