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TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s incoming U.S. senator says people have underestimated her in other statewide races that she ended up winning.

State Agriculture Commissioner Cindy-Hyde Smith was appointed Wednesday to succeed fellow Republican Thad Cochran. The 80-year-old Cochran is resigning April 1 because of health concerns.

Gov. Phil Bryant announced Wednesday that he had chosen Hyde-Smith to temporarily serve in the Senate. She is expected to face at least two other candidates in a nonpartisan election in November. The winner will finish Cochran’s six-year term, which ends in January 2021.

Hyde-Smith has been traveling the state since Wednesday, with appearances on the Gulf Coast, in heavily Republican DeSoto County and in Tupelo.

WTVA-TV reports that during the Tupelo stop Saturday, Hyde-Smith talked about people underestimating her. She says it doesn’t bother her.


Information from: WTVA-TV,