Mississippi Governor Appoints State's First Woman in Congress

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After news broke of Bryant's appointment, McDaniel again charged the governor with following "the orders of the Washington establishment's Mitch McConnell" in appointing Hyde-Smith.

The Mississippi governor's appointment of Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate next month marks a milestone: She will be the state's first woman in Congress.

A Republican, Hyde-Smith, 58, will be the first woman member of Congress from MS, until a special election November 6 decides who will serve out the remainder of Cochran's term through 2021.

Hyde-Smith faces a November 6 special election to permanently fill the Senate post.

She will need to run for election in November if she wishes to keep her seat.

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Chris McDaniel, a tea party-backed state senator who almost unseated Cochran in a bruising 2014 Republican primary, said last week that he is running in the special election.

Associated Press Writer, Emily Wagster Pettus captured this, moments after the announcement showing Hyde-Smith is ready for the upcoming special election.

Hyde-Smith, a Republican who is now the state's agriculture and commerce commissioner, will replace longtime GOP Sen.

After serving 40 years in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Thad Cochran, 80, who is stepping down April 1 with almost three years left in his term. What concerns some Republicans is that Mr. McDaniel's following on the right could, in a potentially crowded field, earn him a position in the runoff against a Democrat.

POLITICO reported White House aides told Bryant that President Donald Trump wouldn't campaign for her. "Through her leadership roles as President of the Southern Association of States Departments of Agriculture and the Southern U.S. Trade Association, Commissioner Hyde-Smith has been on the forefront of national and regional issues impacting agriculture", Bryant's press release stated.

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Bryant responded that he meant to pick Hyde-Smith for the post, anyway. "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". Chris McDaniel and Democrat Mike Espy, who was President Bill Clinton's first agriculture secretary, also intend to run in the special election. Chris McDaniel came within an eyelash of unseating Cochran in the Republican run-off.

Fortunately, Mississippi Republicans now know what happens when the establishment tries to handpick their representatives for them - we end up losing seats and wasting money.

"She's going to have a very important three- to four-week period coming out of the gate", said one Mississippi Republican operative deeply familiar with the state, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. MS has a tradition of sending the same people to Washington for decades to build seniority and influence.

The 80-year-old Cochran announced March 5 that he will step down because of health problems.

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