Mississippi is expected to send its first woman to Congress soon.
Republican State Governor Phil Bryant will reportedly appoint Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, the state’s current Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner, to replace Republican Sen. Thad Cochran in the U.S. Senate. Cochran announced earlier this month that he would resign on April 1 due to health problems.
Her appointment would bring the number of women currently serving in the U.S. Senate to 23, a record high.
Hyde-Smith would be the first woman from Mississippi to serve in either chamber of Congress. Her appointment leaves Vermont as the only other state to not have any female representatives in either the U.S. House of Representatives or U.S. Senate, according to Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics.
Delaware as also on the list until it elected Democrat Lisa Blunt Rochester to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2016. (She is also the state’s first African-American representative.) California has sent the most women — 41 — to Congress than any other state, according to Rutgers.
Hyde-Smith would have to run for re-election on Nov. 6 to serve the remainder of Cochran’s term. The cattle farmer had previously served in the Mississippi State Senate as a Democrat before switching parties in 2010, according to the Clarion-Ledger. In 2011, she became the first woman elected as the state’s Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner.
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