|Assumed office |
April 9, 2018
Serving with Roger Wicker
|Appointed by||Governor Phil Bryant|
|Preceded by||Thad Cochran|
7th Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce
January 10, 2012 – April 1, 2018
|Preceded by||Lester Spell|
|Succeeded by||Andy Gipson|
January 4, 2000 – January 10, 2012
|Preceded by||W. L. Rayborn|
|Succeeded by||Sally Doty|
|Born|| May 10, 1959|
|Political party||Democrat-turned-Republican (2010)|
|Spouse(s)|| Michael Smith|
|Alma mater|| Copiah–Lincoln Community College|
University of Southern Mississippi
Cindy Hyde-Smith (born May 10, 1959) is the Republican interim U.S. Senator from Mississippi. On April 9, 2018, she succeeded Senator Thad Cochran, who resigned because of health issues. A month earlier, Governor Phil Bryant had announced that Hyde-Smith was his choice to fill the remaining two years in Cochran's term.
Hyde-Smith switched from Democrat-to-Republican affiliation in 2010, while she was serving in the Mississippi State Senate. In 2012, she became the state agriculture commissioner. She is a resident of Brookhaven in southern Mississippi. She and her husband, Mike Smith, are ranchers. She has one daughter.
In the special election to complete Cochran's term on November 6, 2018, Hyde-Smith faces a conservative challenge from state Senator Chris McDaniel and a liberal opponent, African-American Democratic former U.S. Representative Mike Espy, who also served briefly as secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture in the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton. President Donald Trump has endorsed and campaigned on behalf of Hyde-Smith, who supported the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
McDaniel has accused Hyde-Smith of having voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary against Barack H. Obama. At the time Hyde-Smith was a Democrat, but she denies having voted for Mrs. Clinton.
- GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith swears she didn't vote for Hillary Clinton. Washington Times (October 7, 2018).