TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Mississippi's incoming U.S. senator is traveling the state, and her travels took her to Tupelo Saturday afternoon.
Cindy Hyde-Smith met people outside a local restaurant just a few days after being appointed by Governor Phil Bryant as interim U.S. senator to replace Thad Cochran, who's resigning April 1.
The outgoing agriculture commissioner must now introduce herself to voters as a Senate candidate and share her views on a new set of issues, such as federal spending.
"I want to spend wisely," said Hyde-Smith. "I want to make sure we protect the tax cuts that have already been put into place. I want to be on that team to protect that."
It's been reported the White House and some Republicans are concerned about whether Hyde-Smith can keep the seat since she's running in the November special election against another Republican, state Senator Chris McDaniel, who almost beat Cochran in the 2014 GOP primary.
With Democrat Mike Espy in the race as well, the concern is that the non-partisan election would likely put Espy and McDaniel into a runoff. When asked about that, Hyde-Smith downplayed the possibility.
"I've been in these races before statewide that people underestimated me then. That stuff just doesn't bother me," said Hyde-Smith.