Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), the junior senator from Mississippi, assumed office in April 2018 when she was appointed to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by long-time Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.). The self-proclaimed “conservative” Republican was reelected to a six-year term in 2020, becoming the first woman elected to represent Mississippi in Congress. She was previously a Mississippi state senator (from 2000–12) and the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce (from 2012–18).
Hyde-Smith is a graduate of Copiah–Lincoln Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. When she was first elected to the Mississippi State Senate in 1999, it was as a Democrat, but, citing her conservative beliefs, she switched parties in 2010.
Hyde-Smith drew criticism during her 2018 senate campaign for making a racially-charged comment about “a public hanging” in a state with a tragic history of lynchings. As a result, numerous private and corporate donors—including Walmart—recoiled from support of her candidacy and asked for a refund on campaign contributions.
January 6, 2021
- As chair of a Senate subcommittee with oversight of the Capitol Police, Hyde-Smith was noncommittal the day after the attack about launching a subcommittee investigation into the group’s response to the riot.
- Hyde-Smith voted against impeaching Trump for inciting the insurrection. In statement released the day the Senate voted on Feb. 13, 2021, she argued that as a former president, Trump can’t be impeached. She also claimed that his speech to the crowd on Jan. 6 “neither implicitly nor explicitly encouraged the use of violence or lawless action.”
- In addition, Hyde-Smith voted against the formation of an independent investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection, arguing that “this Democratic proposal would enable a politically-skewed exercise that I cannot support.”
The Big Lie
- On Nov. 7, 2021, Hyde-Smith issued a joint statement with Mississippi’s congressional delegation supporting legal challenges to the presidential election results, noting that “Americans should have confidence in our voting system and [be assured] that all ballots have been submitted correctly and legally. This is precisely what President Trump and his legal team are seeking.”
- Hyde-Smith voted against the certification of electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania, explaining, “I, along with my constituents, are alarmed with [sic] the erosion of integrity of the electoral process. The people I represent do not believe the presidential election was constitutional and cannot accept the electoral college decision.”
- Hyde-Smith was one of the six senators to object to the Arizona election results even after the Capitol riot, leading the Lincoln Project to include her on a list titled “The Seditious Six.”
- Hyde-Smith misrepresented the S.1 voter rights bill (also known as the For the People Act) by incorrectly claiming that it “would nullify Mississippi’s successful voter ID law. Under S.1, in a federal election, an individual could walk into a polling place, register and vote on the spot, without ever showing any proof of identity or residency.”
- She also objected to voting rights reform bill S.4, arguing, “The powers embodied in this bill would allow the Biden administration to effectively eliminate voter ID and other commonsense state laws to improve the integrity of our elections and prevent voter fraud.”