Chris McDaniel

Mississippi agriculture official expected to go to US Senate

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to appoint state Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to succeed a longtime U.S. senator who is resigning because of poor health.

Bryant has scheduled an announcement at noon Wednesday in Hyde-Smith's hometown of Brookhaven. Three state Republican sources told The Associated Press that he chose the Hyde-Smith to succeed Sen. Thad Cochran, who is 80 and is stepping down April 1. The sources spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the announcement was not yet official.

Hyde-Smith, 58, would be the first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress.

She would immediately begin campaigning for a Nov. 6 nonpartisan...