Cindy Hyde-Smith speaks to constituents in Tate County about the future of the Republican Party.

Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) has defeated Mike Espy (D) in the U.S. Senate race, according to the Associated Press.

Hyde-Smith has served in the U.S. Senate since April 2018, when she was appointed by then-Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Thad Cochran.

After she won the seat in a November 2018 special election, Hyde-Smith became the first woman elected to Congress from Mississippi. 

Before her appointment to the Senate, Hyde-Smith served as state agriculture commissioner from 2012 to 2018. She also spent 12 years in the state Senate, 10 of them as a Democrat, though her voting record had largely been conservative.  Hyde-Smith has been an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump during her time in Washington. 

Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and is chairwoman of the Legislative Branch subcommittee.

A native of Brookhaven, Hyde-Smith and her husband, Mike, have one daughter. She is a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. 


She defeated Espy, who became the first Black Mississippian elected to the U.S. House of Representatives since Reconstruction. He was re-elected three times but resigned in 1993 after he was appointed as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by President Bill Clinton. This made Espy the first Black agriculture secretary in U.S. history. 

Because of an investigation over alleged improper acceptance of gifts, Espy resigned from that office in Oct. 1994. Espy was indicted on federal corruption charges in 1997 and was later acquitted on all counts.  The Yazoo County native then returned to Mississippi to practice law. 

In 2018, Espy re-entered politics to run for the Senate seat vacated by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. Espy, a Democrat, garnered more than 46% of the vote in the special election,  but lost to interim Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. Just two days later, he filed to challenge her again in 2020.

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