Cindy Hyde-Smith

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Cindy Hyde-Smith
Cindy Hyde-Smith official photo.jpg
United States Senator
from Mississippi
Assumed office
April 9, 2018
Serving with Roger Wicker
Appointed by Phil Bryant
Preceded by Thad Cochran
7th Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce
In office
January 10, 2012 – April 1, 2018
Governor Phil Bryant
Preceded by Lester Spell
Succeeded by Andy Gipson
Member of the Mississippi Senate
from the 39th district
In office
January 4, 2000 – January 10, 2012
Preceded by W. L. Rayborn
Succeeded by Sally Doty
Personal details
Born Cindy Hyde
(1959-05-10) May 10, 1959 (age 59)
Brookhaven, Mississippi, U.S.
Political party Republican (2010–present)
Other political
affiliations
Democratic (before 2010)
Spouse(s) Michael Smith
Residence Brookhaven, Mississippi
Education Copiah–Lincoln Community College
University of Southern Mississippi (BA)

Cindy Hyde-Smith (born May 10, 1959)[1] is an American cattle rancher and politician who is the junior United States Senator from Mississippi, in office since April 2018.[2] A member of the Republican Party, she was previously the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce and a member of the Mississippi State Senate.

In 1999, Hyde-Smith was elected to the Mississippi State Senate as a Democrat. She represented the 39th district from 2000 to 2012. In 2010, Hyde-Smith switched parties and became a Republican, citing her conservative beliefs.[3] Hyde-Smith was elected Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner in 2011, and was the first woman elected to the office.

On March 21, 2018, Governor Phil Bryant announced his intention to appoint Hyde-Smith to the United States Senate seat being vacated due to the resignation of Thad Cochran.[4] Hyde-Smith was sworn into office on April 9, 2018. She is the first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress.[5]

Hyde-Smith is a candidate in the 2018 U.S. Senate special election for the remainder of Cochran's term, which expires in 2021.[6]

Early life[edit]

Hyde-Smith was born in Brookhaven, Mississippi, the daughter of Lorraine Hyde and the late Luther Hyde, and grew up in Monticello, Mississippi. She graduated from Copiah-Lincoln Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi.[7]

Early political career[edit]

Hyde-Smith was a member of the Mississippi Senate, representing the 39th District from 2000 to 2012.[8] In 2010, during her tenure in the Senate, she switched parties from Democratic to Republican.[7]

Hyde-Smith chaired the Senate Agriculture committee from 2004 to 2012 and was a member of the Appropriations, Constitution, Corrections, Elections, Forestry, Public Health and Welfare, Veterans and Military Affairs, and Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks committees. She was also Vice Chair of the National Agriculture Committee of State Legislators.[7]

Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce[edit]

Smith as Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce

Hyde-Smith was elected in 2011 and took office on January 5, 2012.[9] During her first term as commissioner, she implemented e-commerce systems to enable Mississippians to conduct business online, increased the number of food inspections, and secured state and federal funding to make improvements and renovations to the agriculture and forestry museum in Mississippi.[10]

U.S. Senate[edit]

Appointment[edit]

On March 21, 2018, Governor Phil Bryant announced Hyde-Smith as his choice to fill the United States Senate seat held by Thad Cochran, who indicated he would be resigning the seat at a later date due to ongoing health issues.[11] The Trump administration reportedly did not support her appointment because of her history as a Democrat.[12][13] Hyde-Smith has announced she intends to seek election to the seat in the 2018 special election on November 6.[14] In August 2018, Trump endorsed Hyde-Smith.[15]

Tenure[edit]

Hyde-Smith became the first woman to represent the state in the United States Congress. Cochran resigned on April 1, and Bryant formally appointed Hyde-Smith on April 2.[2] The Senate was in a district work period and was not conducting legislative business at that time, so she did not take the oath of office until the Senate reconvened for legislative business on April 9.[16]

Committee assignments[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Cindy Hyde-Smith identifies herself as a conservative Republican.[18] On The Issues, a non-partisan and non-profit organization which tracks a politician's record of statements and votes, considers Hyde-Smith to be a centrist.[19] From 1999 to 2010, Hyde-Smith served in elected office as a Democrat. She switched to the Republican Party in 2010. She described herself as having been a conservative Democrat during her tenure in the state legislature.[20] She voted in the Democratic primary in 2008.[21] In 2012, she endorsed Republican candidate Mitt Romney for President.[22] As a Republican, she has faced primary challenges from conservative Republicans.[23] In 2018 she highlighted her support for Second Amendment rights, opposition to abortion, and advocacy for the state’s defense business.[24] FiveThirtyEight, which tracks Congressional votes, reported that Hyde-Smith has voted with Trump's position 100% of the time;[25] she voted with Trump's position more often than any other Republican senator as of June 2018.[26]

Fiscal policy[edit]

Hyde-Smith describes her economic positions as fiscally conservative.[27]

In 2018 Hyde-Smith was one of 29 Republicans who joined all Democrats in opposing Senator Rand Paul's bill to cut federal spending by 1% over 5 years, known as the Penny Bill.[28] Republican opponents of the bill said it could threaten federal defense and domestic programs.[29] She faced criticism from the bill's supporters.[30]

Hyde-Smith supports the Trump-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[31] As a state legislator, she voted in favor of increasing unemployment benefits and in favor of raising taxes on cigarettes.[32] She also voted with all Mississippi Democrats in the state legislature to restore funding that had been previously eliminated due to budget cuts.[33]

Social issues[edit]

Hyde-Smith's campaign describes her as a "strong social conservative voting record with a 100 percent pro-life rating [who is] a lifetime member of the NRA."[34]

Hyde-Smith considers herself pro-life and opposes legal abortion.[35] As a state senator, she authored a bill requiring that all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy be performed in a hospital or ambulatory surgical facility; the bill was blocked by federal courts.[36] In 2018, she voted with Senate Republicans to prohibit federal funding from being given to any organization or facility that promotes abortion services or family planning.[37]

In 2018 Hyde-Smith released a statement supporting the Trump administration's travel ban.[38][39] Her campaign platform says she supports the construction of a wall along the southern US border.[40]

In 2012, as the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Hyde-Smith opposed allowing same-sex commitment ceremonies at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum.[41] She supported a law to ban such ceremonies, saying that same-sex commitment ceremonies are against her "personal and religious beliefs".[42]

Personal life[edit]

Hyde-Smith is a member of the American Cancer Society, the Junior Auxiliary, Hospice, the Mississippi Cattleman's Association, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, the National Rifle Association, Mississippi National Guard Legislative Caucus, and the Copiah Lincoln Community College Foundation Board.[43]

Family[edit]

She is married to a cattle farmer, Mike, and they have one daughter, Anna Michael. They are active members of Macedonia Baptist Church.[44]

Electoral history[edit]

2003[edit]

Mississippi State Senate 39th district Democratic primary election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Hyde-Smith (incumbent) 11,944 65.47
Democratic W. L. Rayborn 6,299 34.53
Mississippi State Senate 39th district election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Hyde-Smith (incumbent) 18,091 100.00

2007[edit]

Mississippi State Senate 39th district election, 2007
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cindy Hyde-Smith (incumbent) 12,844 79.45
Republican Edwin Case 3,323 20.55

2011[edit]

Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Republican primary election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith 144,873 52.93
Republican Max Phillips 96,049 35.09
Republican Dannie Reed 32,809 11.99
Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith 493,417 56.91
Democratic Joel Gill 352,213 40.63
Reform Cathy Toole 21,347 2.46

2015[edit]

Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith (incumbent) 433,295 61.47
Democratic Addie Lee Green 256,766 36.43
Reform Cathy Toole 14,852 2.11

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gov. Phil Bryant to appoint Cindy Hyde-Smith to Senate seat, but some in GOP are worried". 
  2. ^ a b "Senators of the United States 1789–present, A chronological list of senators since the First Congress in 1789" (PDF). Senate Historical Office. April 12, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Sen. Hyde-Smith joins Republicans - Daily Leader". Daily Leader. 2010-12-28. Retrieved 2018-07-04. 
  4. ^ The Washington Post. "Miss. governor names Cindy Hyde-Smith to replace GOP Sen. Thad Cochran. She will be first female U.S. senator from state". Retrieved March 21, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Hyde-Smith becomes first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress". CNN. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  6. ^ "5 candidates now in special US Senate race in Mississippi". AP News. Retrieved 2018-07-04. 
  7. ^ a b c "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith". www.senate.gov. Retrieved May 9, 2018. 
  8. ^ "Hyde-Smith: Profile". Newspapers.com. Retrieved March 20, 2018. 
  9. ^ Thompson, Marsha. "State-wide elected officials sworn in". Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  10. ^ "Deliver Efficient and Effective Government – Cindy Hyde-Smith – United States Senate". cindyhydesmith.com. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  11. ^ Mangan, Dan (March 5, 2018). "Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran says he will resign April 1, cites health issues". CNBC. Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  12. ^ "White House opposed Republican picked to replace Cochran". POLITICO. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  13. ^ "Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant seeks Trump support for Senate appointee Cindy Hyde-Smith". KYTX. Retrieved 2018-06-28. 
  14. ^ "Mississippi names first female U.S. senator from state". Retrieved March 22, 2018. 
  15. ^ "Trump tweets 'total endorsement' for Mississippi senator". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-08-31. 
  16. ^ "Congressional Record - Orders for Monday, March 26, 2018, Through Monday, April 9, 2018". www.congress.gov. 
  17. ^ "Hyde-Smith gets committee assignments". ABC 11 Newscenter. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  18. ^ News, A. B. C. (2018-04-09). "Cindy Hyde-Smith swearing in gives US Senate historic number of women". ABC News. Retrieved 2018-08-19. 
  19. ^ OnTheIssues.org. "Cindy Hyde-Smith on the Issues". www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved 2018-08-19. 
  20. ^ "White House has unease over Cindy Hyde-Smith Senate appointment; Phil Bryant hopes to sway Donald Trump". The Clarion Ledger. Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  21. ^ "Chris McDaniel: Cindy Hyde-Smith has 'ideological amnesia' on 2008 presidential vote". The Clarion Ledger. Retrieved 2018-07-05. 
  22. ^ "Mitt Romney Announces Support of Mississippi Lt. Governor Reeves and Other Leaders". 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2018-07-05. 
  23. ^ "GOP leans on party switchers to keep the Senate". POLITICO. Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  24. ^ Lesniewski, Niels; Lesniewski, Niels (March 21, 2018). "Cindy Hyde-Smith Gets Appointment to Mississippi Senate Seat". Roll Call. Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  25. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron (January 30, 2017). "Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  26. ^ Jr., Perry Bacon (2018-06-28). "Will Any Republicans Vote Against Trump's Eventual Supreme Court Pick?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2018-07-01. 
  27. ^ "Cindy Hyde-Smith to be first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress | Mississippi Today". Mississippi Today. March 21, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  28. ^ "Rand Paul's 'Penny Plan' gets voted down – was it a real thing or a show vote? | Mississippi Politics and News - Y'all Politics". yallpolitics.com. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  29. ^ "Rand Paul's 'Penny Plan' gets voted down – was it a real thing or a show vote? | Mississippi Politics and News - Y'all Politics". yallpolitics.com. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  30. ^ Bedillion, Caleb. "Hyde-Smith joins with GOP majority to defeat Rand Paul budget plan". Daily Journal. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  31. ^ Holter, Lauren. "What To Know About The First Woman EVER To Represent Mississippi In Congress". Bustle. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  32. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018-09-10. 
  33. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018-09-10. 
  34. ^ "Mississippi's First Female Senator Takes Office Needing To Win Over Her Own Party". NPR.org. Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  35. ^ "Cindy Hyde-Smith campaign releases first web video, "Integrity" | Mississippi Politics and News - Y'all Politics". yallpolitics.com. Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  36. ^ "Pro-Life News in Brief". www.nrlc.org. Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  37. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2018-09-10. 
  38. ^ McCarthy, Waverly. "Bennie Thompson, Cindy Hyde-Smith release statements on upholding of travel ban". Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  39. ^ McCarthy, Waverly. "Bennie Thompson, Cindy Hyde-Smith release statements on upholding of travel ban". Retrieved 2018-08-31. 
  40. ^ "Stopping Illegal Immigration". Cindy Hyde-Smith for United States Senate. Retrieved June 27, 2018. 
  41. ^ Staff, WLBT. "Ag Comm: Same-sex ceremony application can not be refused". Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  42. ^ "Ag Head Unhappy About Same-Sex Reversal, Vows to Pass New Law". Retrieved June 26, 2018. 
  43. ^ "Qualifications & Vision". cindyhydesmith.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2011. Retrieved August 11, 2011. 
  44. ^ "About Cindy Hyde-Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture & Commerce". Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. Archived from the original on August 17, 2013. Retrieved March 23, 2018. 

External links[edit]

Mississippi State Senate
Preceded by
W. L. Rayborn
Member of the Mississippi Senate
from the 39th district

2000–2012
Succeeded by
Sally Doty
Political offices
Preceded by
Lester Spell
Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce
2012–2018
Succeeded by
Andy Gipson
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Thad Cochran
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Mississippi
2018–present
Served alongside: Roger Wicker
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Doug Jones
United States Senators by seniority
99th
Succeeded by
Jon Kyl