Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith Bio
Cindy Hyde-Smith is the first woman elected to represent Mississippi in Washington, D.C. Initially appointed by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant in April 2018 to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by long-time Senator Thad Cochran, Hyde-Smith won a special election for the U.S. Senate in November 2018. She has established herself as Senator committed to conservative principles as she works for all Mississippians.
In the 116th Congress, Hyde-Smith serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Committee on Rules and Administration.
On the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hyde-Smith serves on six subcommittees, including: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development; Homeland Security; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and Legislative Branch, on which she serves as chairman.
Prior to becoming a U.S. Senator for Mississippi, Hyde-Smith was elected Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce in 2011 and easily won reelection in 2015.
Before leading the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, Hyde-Smith served 12 years in the Mississippi State Senate, including eight years as chairman of the Agriculture Committee. As a legislator, Hyde-Smith championed policies to promote and protect all facets of the agriculture industry. She fought to protect private property rights, supported tort reform, and earned respect for her advocacy of conservative budget and pro-business initiatives. She has a strong social conservative voting record and a 100 percent pro-life rating. Hyde-Smith is a lifetime member of the NRA.
As Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Hyde-Smith worked to ensure fairness and equity in the marketplace and protect Mississippians through sound regulatory practices. She successfully streamlined government regulations to ease the financial burden on Mississippi farmers and small businesses. Highlights of her tenure were her efforts to reopen Chinese markets for American beef exports, advocate for country-of-origin food labeling, and ensure that imported catfish meet USDA food safety standards. Under her leadership, the agency was recognized as a “model agency” for effectiveness and budget control. Hyde-Smith held agency spending below one percent growth her entire tenure.
As Senator, Hyde-Smith has received the Award for Conservative Achievement from the American Conservative Union Foundation and the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Hyde-Smith also received numerous awards and honors for her work as a state legislator and champion of agriculture, including the highest grade for a strong pro-business and fiscally conservative voting record from the Business and Industry Political Education Committee.
Additionally, Hyde-Smith has received the Agriculture Legislator of the Year Award from the Mississippi Association of Conservation Districts, the Ambassador Award from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, the Achievement Award from Delta Council, and the Outstanding Service to Small Farmers Award from Alcorn State University.
Hyde-Smith is a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi, and she maintains close affiliations with the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, Lincoln County Forestry Association, Lincoln County Livestock Association, and the Mississippi Nursery and Landscape Association.
Hyde-Smith and her husband Mike have a daughter, Anna-Michael. They reside in Brookhaven and are active members of Macedonia Baptist Church. A fifth-generation farming family, the Senator’s family raises beef cattle and are partners in a local stockyard auction market in Brookhaven.