Mississippi governor to appoint state's first female U.S. senato - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

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BREAKING

Mississippi governor to appoint state's first female U.S. senator to Senate vacancy

Once appointed, Hyde-Smith would immediately run for re-election for the nearly three years remaining in Cochran's term. That special election will be Nov. 6. Source: WLBT archives Once appointed, Hyde-Smith would immediately run for re-election for the nearly three years remaining in Cochran's term. That special election will be Nov. 6. Source: WLBT archives
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will appoint State Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to fill the Senate vacancy when veteran Senator Thad Cochran retires in April. She will be Mississippi's first female U.S. senator.

Cindy Hyde-Smith served as a State Senator from 2000-2012 for her hometown of Brookhaven.

After winning the election in 2011, she became the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce starting in 2012. Smith was a registered Democrat until 2010 when she switched to the Republican party. 

Not only is Smith the first female US Senator to represent Mississippi, she's the 6th female Republican US Senator in history.

Brookhaven Mayor Joe Cox confirmed Tuesday that Governor Bryant will announce his selection of Hyde-Smith on Wednesday. An event will be held at the Military Memorial Museum at the Old Train Depot in Brookhaven. 

"Nobody on this planet will outwork her," Mayor Cox said. "She is top drawer. I'm proud to be behind her 100 percent."

RELATED: Thad Cochran resigns: Here's what happens next

After she's appointed she will immediately run for re-election on November 6 for the remainder of Cochran's term which expires in 2020. The next full Senate term would begin in 2021. 

She's expected to be backed by the national and Mississippi GOP establishment in the coming election.

Democratic candidate Mike Espy will not comment until the formal announcement. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports this is alarming senior Republicans who believe it could create a messy special election and an opening for Democrats. Some in the GOP are reportedly concerned that she may be vulnerable to the challenge by Senator Chris McDaniel, a firebrand conservative.

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