Mississippi gov will name Hyde-Smith to Senate vacancy

Mississippi gov will name Hyde-Smith to Senate vacancy

With a vacant Senate seat, it's up to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to appoint a replacement within 10 days "after receiving official notices of the vacancy", according to ms election law.

According to the Times, Bryant favors Hyde-Smith because of her "deep connections in the farming communities".

Sen. Thad Cochran announced that he will resign from his seat effective April 1.

Hyde-Smith is a former Democrat who served in the state legislature before being elected to head the agriculture and commerce panel in 2011. She would be the first woman to represent MS in Congress.

Hyde-Smith would have to run for re-election on November 6 to serve the remainder of Cochran's term.

While the governor doesn't have to appoint someone in his own party, he will pick a "conservative Republican", Clay Chandler, Bryant's communications director, told Fox News. By choosing Hyde-Smith and passing over the 70-year-old Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Bryant follows a long MS tradition of seeking to place federal lawmakers who can stay in Congress for decades and build seniority and influence. Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel has already withdrawn from a primary race with Senator Roger Wicker and announced his intentions for Cochran's seat.

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McDaniel's camp will not respond until the formal announcement from the Governor. Espy in 1986 became the first African-American in modern times to win a congressional seat in Mississippi. Other candidates could yet join the race.

His vacancy triggers a special election that will be held in November.

Marvin King, a political scientist at the University of MS, said Hyde-Smith is "a safe pick that won't rankle".

Who will replace Cochran in the Senate?

"My guess is national GOP money will go after Espy, so she can focus on appealing to the mass of conservative voters who want a conservative in the Senate, but not a firebrand". She will be Mississippi's first female US senator. Thad Cochran in the U.S. Senate. Still, there were some private doubts Tuesday in Mississippi GOP circles about whether the party would rally around a Hyde-Smith campaign. Hyde-Smith said any lawmaker opposing property rights would ignite voters' anger. A Democrat, she voted in the 2008 Democratic primary. This is his appointee, so in many ways, it's as much his election as it is hers.

Hyde-Smith is one of only four women ever elected to statewide office in Mississippi. MS and Vermont are the only two USA states never to have elected a woman to Congress.

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