Mississippi Governor Appoints State's First Female U.S. Senator

Republican Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, speaks about the improvements taking place at the state fairgrounds in Jackson, Miss., during her speech at Founders Square at the Neshoba County Fair, Thursday, July 28, 2016, in Philadelphia, Miss. The annual fair is a traditional gathering place for politicians, area residents, business leaders, voters and families. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

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.