The White House informed Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant this week that President Donald Trump has no intention of endorsing or campaigning for his choice to fill the state's open Senate seat, Politico reports.
Bryant chose Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith to replace outgoing Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., despite the White House raising concerns the former state senator could lose the seat in the upcoming special election because she used to be a Democrat.
Hyde-Smith switched parties in 2010, while serving in the state Senate, and faces a strong challenger in Chris McDaniel, an anti-establishment conservative state senator running for her seat. Internal GOP polling shows Hyde-Smith trailing behind both McDaniel and a potential Democratic candidate.
"Gov. Bryant isn't going to respond to leaks from unnamed sources in Washington," spokesman Clay Chandler told Politico, when asked for comment. "[Wednesday] is about Mississippi making history, and Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith becoming Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith when she is sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence."
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