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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on a replacement for Mississippi Sen.

First elected to the state Senate in 1999, Hyde-Smith was a Democrat until she switched parties in 2010.

"I'm also looking forward to working with President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough IL primary fight MORE and everyone else who believes in the policies and principles that are making America great again", Hyde-Smith said at a Wednesday press conference. The octogenarian is now the 3 longest still-serving member of the Senate, only slightly behind Senators Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). The regulation of catfish and similar fish from Asia has been a key to the domestic catfish industry. "But after it has been made, we need all Mississippians to stand with us if we are to be victorious".

"No one has ever met her", one Republican involved in the process said.

Bryant's decision was not a surprise, and Hyde-Smith is expected to run in November to fill out the rest of Cochran's Senate term, which expires at the beginning of 2021.

Hyde-Smith will succeed Republican Thad Cochran, 80, who has battled health problems and will step down from his Senate seat April 1.

In August 2016, Hyde-Smith was named co-chairman of the Trump campaign's agriculture advisory committee.

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POLITICO reported White House aides told Bryant that President Donald Trump wouldn't campaign for her. She'll serve until at least November, when a special election will be held.

Before getting to that point, though, Hyde-Smith will have to deal with what could be a strong primary challenge. The officials suggested her candidacy, rather than McDaniel's, could cause a reprise of last year's special Senate election in Alabama, which saw Democrat Doug Jones upset Republican nominee Roy Moore.

Conor Dowling, an associate professor of political science at Ole Miss, said the Hyde Smith pick is aimed at icing McDaniel out because of concern from Republicans he may be too conservative to win.

The Mississippi governor's appointment of Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate next month marks a milestone: She will be the state's first woman in Congress.

A group of supporters backing Chris McDaniel called on Trump to oppose Hyde-Smith's appointment through an open letter published Wednesday. Based on reports from various GOP sources in Mississippi, Newsmax predicted Bryant would turn to fourth-generation cattle farmer and former State Sen. This trend does not portend well for the Republican Party in light of Cochran's retirement plans, and to be sure, the uncertainty for the GOP's ambitions to retain the Senate do not end there. White House officials have seen polling data that puts her in the back of the pack in Mississippi, Republican officials said.

Republican State Senator Chris McDaniel has already withdrawn from a primary race with Senator Roger Wicker and announced his intentions for Cochran's seat.