Hyde-Smith is an excellent choice

Published 9:36 pm Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cindy Hyde-Smith is an excellent choice to replace Sen. Thad Cochran in the United States Senate, and I congratulate Gov. Phil Bryant on naming her. She will win the November election in a strong fashion. Please allow me to explain why I believe that will happen.

I have been privileged to work for many years in the trenches with Gov. Phil Bryant to help build the Republican Party in Mississippi, long before either of us had the honor of being elected to public office.  A critical part of that growth has been to convince conservative Mississippi Democrats that they had no home in the national Democratic Party and invite them to become Republicans.  We always warmly received those who came “home” to the Republican Party, a party that shared their core beliefs.  When they switched, that person always received a commitment of support and assistance from those of us who were already Republicans.  If we now tell Cindy Hyde-Smith, who has demonstrated these core conservative philosophies and who has been elected not once, but twice, to a statewide office as a Republican, that we cannot support her because she was once a Democrat, then rest assured that other elected officials who want to switch will take note.  Is that the message our party wants to send?  Of course not!

I have had the great privilege of working with commissioner Hyde-Smith since I was first elected to the House in 2009, and she is beyond reproach as a leader and as a Christian.  Over and over I have seen her stand up for Mississippi and her people, and with the character that this job demands.  Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith will make us proud.  She works well with our federal delegation and has earned our trust.

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Mississippians are smart enough not to be tricked into believing that Cindy Hyde-Smith is a liberal Democrat.   What would motivate someone to say that about our ag commissioner who has a 100 percent pro-life voting record, who is a lifetime member of the NRA and has been a pro-business champion according to BIPEC?  You should further ask anyone making unfounded claims about her, if they voted for Cindy Hyde-Smith for ag commissioner in 2011 when she ran as a Republican.  How about in 2015 when she ran for reelection?  Of course they voted for her, and they should now give Gov. Bryant the respect he has earned and deserves and support his selection.

Gov. Bryant’s conservative bona fides are beyond reproach. He has received the Freedom Award from the NRA; the Samuel Adams Award from the Family Research Council for being the Defender of Religious Freedom; The Conservative Leadership Award from the Heritage Foundation; cut taxes dozens and dozens of times and is recognized as the most pro-life governor in America.  He was also one of Donald Trump’s top surrogates on the campaign trail in the 2016 Presidential race, and maintains a close friendship with the president.

This pick was Gov. Bryant’s pick and his alone.  No one tells our friend what to do.  We trust him to lead us in this race to guarantee that we keep this seat in conservative, Republican hands and Cindy Hyde-Smith is the right person at the right time to serve us in the United States Senate.  Thank you, Gov. Bryant.  Republicans will stand with you.

Gregg Harper represents the 3rd Congressional District of Mississippi.