Mississippi Senate appointment threatens to complicate already messy campaign
Mississippi agriculture commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith's appointment Wednesday to fill the state's soon-to-be vacant Senate seat threatens to complicate an already messy political environment in the Magnolia State.
Gov. Phil Bryant's choice, who will be the first female to represent Mississippi in Washington, to fill outgoing Sen. Thad Cochran's seat reportedly has members of the GOP-establishment worried.
Hyde-Smith was a Democrat in deep-red Mississippi until 2010, and is expected to run for a special election in November to fill the remainder of Cochran’s term. She already has one prominent GOP primary opponent in conservative firebrand Chris McDaniel, who originally announced he would mount a primary challenge to the state’s other Republican senator, Roger Wicker, before switching to run for the vacated seat.
Republicans in Washington, including adviser's to President Trump, still reeling from from Democrat Doug Jones' win in next-door Alabama, privately warned Bryant about the potential headaches Hyde-Smith could cause in the primary. Bryant remained clear that those in Washington would have no say in his appointment.