April 12, 2018: Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republican, was officially sworn in on Monday, April 9, 2018, to a Mississippi U.S. Senate seat, making history as the first woman to represent the state in Congress. Hyde-Smith fills the unexpired term of former Sen. Thad Cochran, Republican, who was in his seventh term in the U.S. Senate. Cochran, 80, citing health reasons, retired on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Hyde-Smith was most recently the Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner. Cochran’s term would have ended in January, 2021. Hyde-Smith, 58, a beef cattle farmer from Brookhaven and a former longtime State Senator, plans to run to fill the remainder of Cochran’s term. A special election is scheduled for Nov. 6, 2018. The election will not have party primaries. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast, a runoff between the top two will then be held on Nov. 27, 2018.