Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant appointed Cindy Hyde-Smith to Sen. Thad Cochran’s seat. The 80-year-old senator resigned from earlier this month citing ill health.
Ms. Hyde-Smith, a former Democrat, has been the Mississippi’s the state’s agriculture and commerce commissioner since 2011. Though not elected, she makes state history by being the state’s first female United States senator.
It remains to be seen if Hyde-Smith will choose to run for the seat in a special election on Nov. 6. If so, she could face a challenge from the more conservative Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel.