Cindy Hyde-Smith was sworn in as the first female senator to represent the state of Mississippi.
The junior senator replaces Thad Cochran who retired effective April 1.
She served as Mississippi’s first female Agriculture Commissioner and served three terms in the state Senate.
Hyde-Smith says she plans to focus her time on military issues and rolling back federal regulations.
A special election to fill the rest of Cochran’s term through 2021 will be held in November. The qualifying deadline is April 24.
Hyde-Smith switched parties mid-way through her career. The Republican will face Chris McDaniel and former Democratic Representative Mike Espy who was Agriculture Secretary under former President Bill Clinton.