Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said yesterday that he will designate his appointment to replace retiring Sen. Thad Cochran (R) before the veteran incumbent actually leaves office. With state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R-Ellisville) already declaring that he will become a candidate in the special election and not continue with his plan to challenge Sen. Roger Wicker in the Republican primary, Gov. Bryant says he wants the new Senator to have as much time as possible to begin preparing a campaign. Sen. Cochran says he will resign after the appropriations process is completed on or around April 1st, but we can now expect the Governor to announce his interim choice very quickly.
One prominent Republican office holder who will not be getting the appointment is Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. The Lt. Gov. eliminated himself from Senate consideration because he desires to run in the open Governor’s race scheduled for 2019, since Mr. Bryant is ineligible to seek a third term. With Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Pearl/Jackson) and Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) also out of the running, it appears that Agriculture & Commerce Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) is the leading potential appointment.
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